Patrick Tagoona is the newest member of Rankin Inlet’s hamlet council, after Coun. Tommy Makkigak resigned due to personal reasons in June.

Makkigak is the second councillor to step down this year, with Coun. Megan Pizzo-Lyall replacing Gabriel Karlik in March.

Tagoona was appointed to the position at the hamlet’s June 27 council meeting, using the same list of candidates that Pizzo-Lyall was selected from following Karlik’s resignation. Councillors voted between him, Simon Okpatauyak and Bernard Krako.

Tagoona and Okpatauyak tied in the vote, leaving the decision to a random draw from the hat by Senior Administrative Officer Darren Flynn.

“Having an opportunity to sit on the Rankin Inlet council, I’m looking forward to it, being involved and trying to find solutions,” said Tagoona following his swearing-in on June 29. “Obviously there are many challenges that we have in Rankin, including our water, sewer utilidor system and getting that upgraded.”

Tagoona’s background is in business and recreation. He has served as executive director of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, president of Sakku Investments, director of Sport Nunavut and he briefly served on Baker Lake council. He is also president of the Kivalliq Chamber of Commerce and sits on the Nunavut Housing Corporation board.

His business background will come in handy to advance infrastructure priorities in the town, but he admits he’ll have some catching up to do first.

“I think initially there will be some learning that I’m going to have to go through to get caught up on files, and there would be various projects that are already on the go that I may not be aware of, so I think it’s getting up to speed on those,” said Tagoona.

Besides business, his passion is sport and recreation. He’s worked on and off as a hockey coach for years. He pointed to the Agnico Eagle Arena and described it as a community benefit that still has more potential.

“With Rankin being strong on sports and opportunities, that’s something near and dear to me,” said Tagoona.

The next municipal election is scheduled for fall 2023, until which time Tagoona will serve on council.

“I’d just like to thank the council members for putting their faith in me and appointing me to become a councillor and work with them,” he said.

Unless something major comes up, council is on a recess until the end of August, when members are next scheduled to meet again.

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