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Getting their voice heard
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, July 6, 2011
The recommendations would see Repulse Bay move from the Akulliq riding with Kugaaruk and join Coral Harbour.
Chesterfield Inlet would become part of a riding with Rankin Inlet North and Whale Cove would join Arviat. Baker Lake is not affected by the recommendations.
Former Whale Cove mayor Stanley Adjuk said residents are concerned their needs will never be met as long as they're joined to a larger hamlet and represented by an MLA from another community.
He said it makes more sense to join Whale and Chester together in one riding.
"Whale Cove has been used as a population increaser, first with Rankin Inlet South and now possibly as Arviat North," said Adjuk.
"We're tired of being used as part of a bigger community and never really getting anything we request.
"It's always the same because the bigger community gets most of what's available and we get what's left.
"We'll have to wait and see what happens if this change goes ahead, but it's hard to see our needs being met unless we can get someone from Whale elected as our MLA, and that's hard to do running against people from much larger communities."
Adjuk said when the commission visited Whale Cove, he suggested Whale and Chesterfield Inlet combined into one riding made the most sense, but the commission felt there wasn't a large enough population base to justify that.
The commission did consider combining Whale and Chester with Repulse, but were too concerned over the distance between Repulse and those two communities to recommend it.
Adjuk said Whale and Chester would have nearly as many voters as the riding of Sanikiluaq, and their MLA would be a true voice for smaller communities.
"Whale and Chester share many concerns and, as long as we're in with bigger communities, will never have anyone voted in as MLA.
"It's always frustrating when we're asked for our opinion, but nobody really listens.
"If they would combine some of our smaller communities, at least we'd have someone who would really represent them," he added.
"Smaller communities never really have their needs met. And it looks like it's always going to be that way, at least for Whale and