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Meaningful municipal election year about to begin

Will candidates’ campaigns offer clear choices?
Stewart Burnett is editor of Kivalliq News. Photo courtesy of Stewart Burnett

Rankin Inlet’s municipal election is set for October this year, as people are able to file for candidacy next week.

With boundless energy to build but stifled by lack of infrastructure capacity and social challenges, Rankin Inlet would be prime for differing candidates to emerge with unique visions for the next several years of the community.

It will be intriguing to see if any councillors have visions of being mayor. As an observer, I find that Coun. Megan Pizzo-Lyall and Coun. Michael Shouldice show a lot of energy for improving Rankin and I could see them wanting more of a hand on the controls.

As the current council lost several members over its term and many councillors are new to the position, I would expect there isn’t much burnout in the current group and most will run again, plus the ones who applied to fill those vacant positions but just missed out.

Mayor Harry Towtongie hasn’t officially indicated if he will be running again. He represents Rankin with class and an endearing soft-spokenness, but perhaps there is appetite for a more charged-up hamlet representative who gets a bit louder on the political stage than the even-keeled and thoughtful Towtongie. You can sense there is a desire for that in council already among some members.

For those passionate about the decline of Rankin in the wake of the beer and wine store, this is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a more impactful say in local matters. There’s always that saying about complaining but not doing anything yourself about it.

Either way, the next council will find themselves a community with significant pent-up energy that needs freedom (infrastructure capacity) and political advocacy to advance.

Public engagement isn’t needed, but it would be nice

On that note, Coun. Kelly Lindell referenced an ageless debate in democracy about the core role of elected representatives at a recent council meeting.

Talking about the beer and wine store, Lindell said she would like to know what more people in Rankin think before making her own decision.

“If the majority want the beer and wine store, then I would want to know that before I decide to shut it down or keep it open,” said Lindell after a petition was presented to close the store late August. “I don’t want to sit here and make the decision for the whole community based on what I think.”

However, as a councillor, Lindell is under no onus to do as the majority desires. We operate under representative democracy, meaning the community has already given its input on who should be the decision makers, with Lindell being one of them. She’s in the hamlet chambers to do the thinking for us, in part; she doesn’t need to crowdsource her opinions.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with gathering more public input, though, and the hamlet would do well to hold more (or any) town halls. At the very least, those engagement opportunities make people feel heard and take a weight off difficult decisions. Even if the hamlet can’t do much about the beer and wine store but write the odd letter, hosting a town hall would give council members more clarity on public feelings and let people feel like they have some sort of say.

Currently, there isn’t even a question period at council meetings, which are held on work afternoons, making engagement with local politics difficult. The town’s MLAs appear to hold no engagement opportunities either, so residents are left on their own to advocate.

Perhaps this upcoming election could spur an injection of energy to hamlet politics.

ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ ᐱᔨᑦᑎᕋᖅᑎᓄᑦ Hᐊᒪᓕᑯᓐᓂ ᓂᕈᐊᕐᓇᖅ ᐊᕿᒃᓯᒪᔪᖅᐅᑐᐱᕆᒧ ᐊᕋᒍᒋᔭᑦᑎᓐᓂ, ᑭᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᑦ ᑕᑕᑎᕆᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᑦ ᓂᕈᐊᕈᑎᓄᑦ ᐱᓇᓱᐊᕈᓯᐅᓂᐊᖅᑐᒥ.

ᐊᑲᐅᖏᓕᐅᕈᑎᓄᑦ ᐃᖢᐊᖏᓕᐅᕈᑎᑦ ᐊᕿᒃᓯᓂᖅ ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐃᒡᓗᕐᔪᐊᑭᒃᓴᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐊᔪᕈᑎᐅᔪᑦ ᑭᑯᓕᒪᓄᑦ, ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᖅ ᐱᔭᕆᐊᖃᕋᔭᒪᕆᒃᑐᖅ ᓂᕈᐊᒐᒃᓴᓂᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᒥ ᑕᑯᑦᐊᖅᑐᒥ ᑭᖑᒧ ᐊᕋᒍ ᖃᐃᓂᐊᖅᑐᒧ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒧᑦ.

ᑐᑭᓯᔪᒪᓐᓇᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᖅ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᑦ ᑕᑯᔭᖃᕐᒪᑲᑕ ᒪᐃᔭᖑᕐᓗᑎᒃ. ᐅᔨᖅᓱᖅᑎᐅᓪᓗᖓ, ᑕᑯᔭᕋ ᒥᑭᓐ ᐱᔪ-ᓚᐃᔪ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑲᑎᒪᔨ ᒪᐅᑯ ᓱᑎᔅ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᑎᒃᑎᖕᒪᑕ ᐱᔪᒪᓂᕐᒥᓂ ᐊᕿᒋᐊᑦᑎᐊᑲᓂᕐᒧ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑕᑯᔭᒃᑲ ᐱᔪᒪᓂᖅᑲᑐᑦ ᐊᒐᒨᖅᑐᒧ ᐃᖏᕋᓂᖅ.

ᑲᑎᒪᔨᑦ ᓄᖃᒐᓇᓵᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋ ᑕᒪᑐᒪᓂ ᐊᑐᖅᑐᒥ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᑦ ᓄᑖᖑᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᒥᓂᒃ, ᓂᕆᐅᒃᑐᖓ ᑕᖃᔪᖃᓗᐊᖏᒻᒪᑦ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᐅᓵᖅᑐᓂᒃ ᑕᒪᐃᓐᓄᑦ ᐅᒃᑐᑲᓂᕐᓂᐊᕋᒥ, ᐃᓚᖃᖅᑐᒥ ᑕᐃᑯᐊ ᑕᑕᑦᑎᓵᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓄᖃᖏᑦᑐᓂᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᓂ ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᑭᖑᕙᓵᖅᑐᑦ.

ᒪᐃᔭ Hᐊᓕ ᑕᐅᑐᖏ ᓇᓗᓇᐃᒪᕆᓚᐅᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᓱᓕ ᓂᕈᐊᒐᒃᓴᐅᑲᓐᓂᕐᓂᐊᕐᒪᖓᕐᒥ.ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᔪᖅ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ ᒪᓕᒐᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐅᖓᓇᖅᑐᒃᑯᑦ ᐅᖃᓪᓚᒍᓯᖓ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂᓕ ᐱᔪᒪᔪᖃᒪᑦ ᐊᓯᔾᔨᖅᓯᒪᔪᒥᒃ Hᐊᒪᓚᒃᑯᑦ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᔨᖏᓐᓂ ᓂᐱᖁᖅᑐᓂᓴᐅᔪᓐᓇᖅᑐᒥᒃ ᑲᑎᒪᓕᕆᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᐊᓯᒥ ᐊᒃᓱᕆᖏᐅᔭᖅᔪᒃᑐᖅ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᐃᓱᒪᕙᒃᖢᓂ ᑕᐅᑐᖏ. ᐃᒃᐱᖕᓇᖅᑐᖅ ᐱᔪᒪᓂᖅᑕᓕᒃ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᓄᑦ ᐊᓯᖏᓐᓂ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᓂ.

ᑕᐃᑯᐊ ᐱᔪᒪᓂᖃᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᑕᖃᖁᔨᖏᖢᑎᒃ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥ ᐅᔨᕈᓱᓕᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᒥ, ᑕᒪᓇ ᐱᕕᒃᓴᐅᔪᖅ ᐱᔪᓐᓇᖅᑎᑦᑎᓪᓗᓂ ᐊᑑᑎᓕᖕᒥ ᐅᖃᕐᕕᖃᕈᓇᕐᓂᖅ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒧᑦ ᐱᔾᔪᑎᓂᑦ. ᐅᖃᖅᑐᖃᓱᖑᖕᒪ ᐅᖃᐱᒋᓗᒍᒪᔪᐊᔫᒐᓗᐊ ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐊᕿᒃᓯᓇᓱᖕᓇᓂ ᓇᖕᒥᓂ.

ᓇᐅᑯᑐᐃᓐᓇᖅ, ᑭᖑᓪᓕᕐᒥ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᑦ ᐅᔨᕆᓕᕐᓂᐊᖅᑐᑦ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᖅ ᓄᓇᓕᒃ ᐃᓱᒪᓗᖑᑎᖏᑦ ᐅᖃᕐᕕᖃᕆᐊᓕᑦ (ᐅᐸᑲᕐᑕᕐᕕᓄᑦ ᒪᓂᒪᐃᓯᒪᓂᖓ) ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑲᑎᒪᓂᕐᒧᑦ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᓂᖅ ᖁᕙᓯᒋᐊᑲᓐᓂᖁᒧ.

ᑭᓇᓕᒪ ᐃᓚᐅᔭᕆᐊᖃᖏᑦᑐᑦ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᐱᐅᓇᔭᕐᒥᔪᖅ

ᐱᓪᓗᒍ, ᑲᑎᒪᔨ ᑭᐊᓕ ᓕᓐᑎᐅ ᐅᖃᓚᐅᖅᑐᖅ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᖏᓐᓇᖅᑐᖅ ᓂᕈᐊᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᐅᓚᑦᑎᔪᓂᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᒥᒃ ᓂᕈᐊᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᓄᑦ ᑲᖓᑎᐊᖑᓵᖅᑐᖅ ᑲᑎᒪᓂᐅᔪᒥ.

ᐅᖃᐅᓯᖃᖅᖢᖓ ᐊᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᖕᒥ, ᓕᓐᑎᐊ ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᖃᔨᒪᓕᒃᑲᓂᕈᒪᒐᒥᒋ ᑭᑯᓕᒪ ᑲᖏᖅᖠᓂᕐᒥᐅᑦ ᐱᔪᒪᔭᒥᓂ ᐊᑐᓕᓚᐅᖏᓂᕐᒥᓂ.

”ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑦ ᐊᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᖃᖁᔨᒃᐸᑕ, ᐱᔪᑎᒋᓪᓗᒍ ᖃᐅᔨᒪᔪᒪᓇᔭᖅᑐᖓ ᐅᑯᐊᓚᐅᖏᓐᓂᕐᓂ ᐅᕝᕙᓘᓐᓃᑦ ᐅᑯᐃᖓᑎᓪᓗᒍ,” ᐅᖃᖅᐳᖅ ᓕᓐᑎᐊ ᐊᑎᓕᐅᖅᑕᐅᓯᒪᔪᑦ ᑕᑯᖁᔭᐅᕋᓂᒃᓯᒪᓕᖅᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᐅᑯᐊᖁᔨᔪᑦ ᐃᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᐊᒌᓯᐅᓚᐅᖅᑐᒥ. ”ᐱᔪᒪᖏᓐᓇᒪ ᓂᕈᐊᕈᔾᔨᓗᖓ ᓄᓇᓕᖕᒥᐅᓄᑦ ᐅᕙᖓ ᐃᓱᒪᒋᔭᒃᑯᑦ.”

ᐱᓪᓗᒍ, ᑲᑎᒪᔨᐅᓪᓗᖓ, ᓕᓐᑎᐅ ᐱᔪᒪᖏᑎᓪᓗᒍ ᒪᓕᒡᓗᓂ ᐅᓄᖅᑐᑦ ᐱᖁᔨᖏᑦᑐᓄᑦ. ᐊᐅᓚᒐᑦᑕ ᑭᒡᒐᖅᑐᐃᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᐅᓚᑕᐅᓪᓗᑕ, ᑐᑭᖃᖅᖢᓂ ᓄᓇᓕᒃ ᑐᓂᔭᐅᕋᓂᓚᐅᕋᒥ ᑭᓇ ᐊᕿᒃᓱᐃᔨᐅᖢᐊᕐᒪᖓᑦ, ᓕᓐᑎᐊ ᐱᖃᑕᐅᓪᓗᓂ. ᑲᑎᒪᔨᐅᔪᖅ ᐃᓱᒪᓕᐅᕆᔨᐅᓗᓂ ᐅᕙᑦᑎᓐᓄᑦ, ᐃᓚᖓᒍ; ᐃᑲᔪᖅᑕᐅᔭᕆᐊᖃᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᑭᑯᑐᐃᓇᕐᓂ ᐱᔪᒪᔭᖓᓂ.

ᖃᓄᐃᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᑲᑎᖅᓱᐃᓗᓂ ᑭᑯᓕᒪ ᐃᓱᒪᒋᔭᖓᓂ, ᑭᓯᐊᓂ, Hᐊᒪᓚᒃᑯᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᑦᑎᐊᕐᓂᖅᓴᐅᓇᔭᖅᐳᑦ ᑲᒪᓂᖅᓴᐅᓗᑎ (ᑭᓱᑐᐃᓇ) ᐱᖑᐊᕐᕕᑦ. ᑭᖑᓕᕐᒥ, ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᒋᖕᓂᐅᔪᑦ ᐱᓕᕆᐊᒃᓴᑦ ᑐᓴᖅᑕᐅᖁᔨᔪᑎᒋᕙᖕᒪᒍ ᐃᓱᒪᓘᑎᑦ ᐊᓂᒍᐃᔭᕐᓗᒋ ᐊᕿᒃᓯᓂᕐᒧ. Hᐊᒪᓚᒃᑯᑦ ᖃᓄᐃᕕᖃᕈᓇᑎᐊᖏᑲᓗᐊᖅᐸᑕ ᐃᒥᐊᓗᒃᑖᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᑭᓯᐊᓂ ᑎᑎᕋᕐᓗᒍ ᐊᑲᐅᖏᓂᖅ, ᐱᓕᕆᑎᑦᑎᓂᖅ ᐱᖑᐊᕐᕕᖕᒥ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᑦ ᐅᖃᕐᕕᖃᕈᓐᓇᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋ ᑭᑯᓕᒪᑦ

ᐃᒃᐱᒋᔭᒥᖕᓄᑦ ᐃᒃᐱᒍᓱᒃᑎᓪᓗᒋ ᐅᖃᕐᕕᖃᕈᓐᓇᕐᓂᖏᓐᓂ.

ᒪᓇᐅᔪᖅ, ᐊᐱᖅᓱᕐᐱᒃᑕᖃᖏᑦᑐᖅ ᑲᑎᒪᓂᖃᖅᑎᓪᓗᒋ, ᓴᓇᓴᐅᓕᕋᖓᒥ ᐊᑐᖅᑕᐅᓱᖅ, ᐊᔪᕐᓇᖅᑐᖅ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᕋᓱᒃᖢᓂ ᑲᑎᒪᔨᓂ. ᓄᓇᓕᐅᓪᓗ ᒪᓕᒐᓕᐅᖅᑎᖏᑦ ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᑎᑦᑎᖏᒃᑭᓪᓗᑎᒃ ᐱᓕᕆᖃᑎᖃᕋᓱᖕᓂᕐᒥ, ᐱᓪᓗᒍ ᓄᓇᓕᑦ ᓇᖕᒥᓂᖅ ᑭᒐᖅᑐᕋᓱᒃᑐᑦ.

ᐱᓪᓗᒍ ᖃᐃᔪᒥ ᓂᕈᐊᕐᓂᖅ ᐊᑲᐅᖏᓕᐅᕈᑎᑕᖃᑐᐃᓇᕆᐊᓕᒃ.