Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Want my vote?

Iqaluit City Council holds their election on October 19th, and there are 21 candidates for council, and a 1 on 1 battle for the Mayor's Chain of Office.

This election will generate very little interest outside of the territory, so the odds of me having to report on it are slim, so I feel like I can say what I think and not give off any perception of bias in my work.

I've lived here in Iqaluit for four years, and here is my short multi-part plan about what I would like to see from a City Council. The people who agree to do the most from these notes will be the people getting my vote.

Ahhhhhh, democracy.

1 - Stand in between the hair studio and IBC, and draw a line about 300 meters in any direction. Turn that line into a circle, with a radius of 300 m. What is inside that circle? Some business, some offices, and lots and lots of residential apartments. What isn't there? A park for the many children who live around those parts (the little gym set by Inuksagate doesn't count, the baby is almost 2 and he's outgrown that tiny thing). Look at the pile of construction stuff behind the Navigator... good luck, you usually can't see it because it is covered with children using it as a jungle gym. That part of town needs a park, badly.

2 - From the 4 Corners to the intersection just past Joamie school, that road is a mess. Potholes you could go cave diving in, and very few street lights. With people dodging the potholes and the dim lighting, it is hard to see pedestrians, and there are always lots on that stretch.

3 - We need a pool. Last election, there was a vote on getting a loan to build a great new recreation center. Problem was, only rate-payers (read: home owners, not renters) were allowed to vote. The pool was narrowly defeated. When it is working, go to the pool on a weekend. You will see more kids there from families who rent than kids of home owners. We should have a new pool, and EVERYONE in town deserves a vote on it.

4 - Go out past Driving Force and view our unplanned ad hoc vehicle graveyard. This must go, and there must be measures put in place to make sure that it never happens again. It is an eyesore and an environmental hazard.

5 - Loose dirt is not natural in Nunavut. Go on the land, there is grass everywhere.... just not in town. I would like to see a by-law requiring anyone building anything has to plant grass when they are done, or those awesome purple flowers, or anything to keep the dust down. Contractors should also have to fence in their site if it is too big.

6 - We need a City subsidzed bus system, from Apex to the airport. Nothing fancy, just a bus that goes back and forth, from 8 am to 6 pm.

That is it. Six points. Candidates who come closest to this vision (and offer to build me that bloody park so I don't have to haul the kids up to Joamie School every time they want to hit the slide) will receive one of my 8 votes for City Council.

I'm just happy I have 21 choices for council. Democracy ceases to thrive when people do not participate. They bothered to run, now you get out and vote.