Countdown to Nunavut
Nunavut's Election Central will provide an area for the public to watch the results of the election

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Feb 08/99) - You know things are really heating up when preparations for Election Central are well under way.

According to Brian Armstrong, the co-ordinator of training and information for Elections NWT, arrangements for a central location to watch and report on Nunavut's first election have been made by Iqaluit's Uqsiq Communications Ltd.

"It's for the public and for the media," said Armstrong, who noted that a similar space was arranged during the last territorial election at the Great Hall in the GNWT legislative assembly.

Planned for the gymnasium at Inuksuk high school in Iqaluit, Nunavut's Election Central will provide an area for the public to watch the results of the election and will also provide a cordoned-off spot for the media.

"It is a media event, but it is also somewhere for people to go and wander through and watch who don't want to watch the election on TV."

Armstrong said Uqsiq Communications will be responsible for setting up accreditation for media, providing security, taking care of the logistics of the evening and designing and updating the results boards for the 19 ridings.

"They're preparing the results boards, doing all the artwork and they'll have staff on hand to post the election results," said Armstrong.

He added that during election night, he'd be busy over at the Elections Nunavut office receiving results and faxing them over to Uqsiq Communication's staff.

Kirt Ejesiak, the owner of Uqsiq Communications, said he was happy to be involved in the event.

"It's certainly exciting because what's happening is a historical event."

Polls, polls and more polls

While the advance polls closed last Thursday, residents who will not be able to vote on Feb. 15 can still do so in a number of other ways.

Brian Armstrong, the co-ordinator of training and information for Elections NWT, said eligible voters could vote in the office of the returning officer during office hours until Feb. 12.

He added that if electors were going to be more than 50 kilometres away from the office of the returning officer on the territorial election day, they could sign an oath and vote by proxy.

"Signing an oath is one of the stipulations. During the last territorial election, things were pretty open, but we've tightened it up significantly since then," said Armstrong.

Incarcerated inmates around the NWT also had the opportunity to vote in mobile polls that travelled to the five correctional centres last Thursday.

NTI antes up

During the grand opening of Iqaluit's Oqota Emergency Homeless Shelter last Tuesday, Nunavut Tunngavik's vice-president of finance, Bernadette Tungilik, presented a $25,000 cheque to shelter workers.

"In two months millions of viewers will watch the creation of Nunavut," said Tungilik in a press release issued by NTI.

"But those viewers will not see the decaying public housing units where hundreds of people live, or the households where three or four families are jammed together because there is no other space available."

The money was approved at NTI's annual meeting last November by the windfall allocation committee and was the first in a series of special contributions that will address various social and cultural needs.

QIA meets

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association has scheduled a board of directors meeting this week in Cape Dorset.

Beginning today, Feb. 8 and running until Feb. 12, the directors will discuss a number of issues that affect Baffin Island land-claim beneficiaries, including health, economic development and wildlife.


During my coverage of the platforms of the Nunavut MLA candidates in last week's News/North, I accidentally omitted Sam Omik's submission. Sorry Sam -- I goofed.

Here it is:

Sam Omik -- Tunnuniq

*I will work with the other elected bodies in Pond Inlet

*I will work for my constituents

*I will work for businesses

*I will work for the new government of Nunavut

*I am receptive and will equally represent the views of all my constituents

Approved by Elijah Nashook