Due to a lack of candidates in some communities, appointments to hamlet council and district education authorities will be required and alcohol education committee shortfalls may trigger byelections.
There’s not a full slate of candidates for municipal council in Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Grise Fiord, Hall Beach, Iglulik, Kimmirut, Resolute, Cape Dorset or Qikiqtarjuaq.
Each of those communities has eight council positions, except for Grise Fiord, which has six.
After councillors are sworn in on Oct. 29, they will decide how to address the vacant seats but there’s no possibility of a byelection for council in such situations under the Nunavut Elections Act, according to Dustin Fredlund, Nunavut’s chief electoral officer. They could opt to make appointments from the public or they could select from defeated candidates in a previous election, Fredlund noted.
Cape Dorset is the only community that had no one register to run for mayor. The options there are for one of the six acclaimed councillors to fill the role as mayor or to hold a byelection for the job.
Timoon Toonoo, Cape Dorset’s incumbent mayor, told Nunavut News that he intended to file nomination papers but he was out of the community on medical travel during a portion of the Sept. 23-27 nomination period and didn’t feel well enough to upon his return to complete the task.
“I was going to run but I couldn’t get on the ballot for a vote… before the closing period,” Toonoo said.
He said he believes nobody else stepped up because they thought he was prepared to serve another term.
For the district education authorities (DEAs) that have a dearth of councillors – seven are needed – they, like hamlet councils, can appoint from the public or from past election candidates who failed to get elected. Anyone appointed must meet eligibility requirements, Fredlund stated.
Alcohol education committees follow a different procedure as they fall under the Liquor Act and the Department of Finance. Committee members vary by community, ranging from 7 to 9. For those with vacancies, decisions relating to byelections, including dates, will be confirmed with the communities over next week or two, according to Fredlund.