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Rankin ripe for homeownership

New councillor brings 30 years of teaching experience
Chris Eccles is the newest member of Rankin Inlet’s hamlet council. He was voted in by council members at the Feb. 13 meeting and hopes to push more homeownership options in town. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

After Chris Eccles ended a 30-year teaching career in Rankin Inlet, he started looking for different things to do and ways to contribute.

“As a teacher, you don’t have time really to do much other than teach,” said Eccles, who is originally from Montreal but moved to Rankin Inlet to teach and fell in love with the town. “Now being retired gives you a chance to try some different things that maybe you thought about in the past.”

When a spot on hamlet council opened up, due to the passing of Coun. Justin Merritt over the holidays, Eccles submitted his name for contention.

Hamlet council voted on several options to join their team for the remainder of the term at the Feb. 13 council meeting, the same way council had previously voted in Coun. Megan Pizzo-Lyall and Coun. Patrick Tagoona in 2022. Eccles beat out David Kakuktinniq Jr. in final voting 4-3 to take the spot on council. The current council term expires on Oct. 23 this year.

“It was suggested to me and, you know, you love the community and want to see it grow and head in the right direction,” he said.

Eccles said the community is amazing already and has had great leadership, so it’s not a matter of him wanting to do anything major, but he does think he has an understanding of youth needs – after teaching in high school for so long – and would like to push homeownership.

He called Rankin Inlet “ripe” for homeownership to help make it more affordable and feasible for young couples and new families to live and thrive in town.

“That’s something I’d like to see happen more often,” said Eccles.

Hamlet council also received applications for the position from Johnny Ayaruak, Bernard Krako, Scott Saddler, Haley Alakan White and Art White-Sateana.