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Iqualuit Council Briefs
Street to be renamed for Lucie Idlout song

Karen Mackenzie
Northern News Services
Monday, August 6, 2007

IQALUIT - The street leading to the Qimaavik women's shelter will be renamed Angel Street, in honour of a verse in a song by Iqalummiuq singer-songwriter Lucie Idlout.

Council unanimously approved a verbal motion by Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik last Tuesday to make the change.

Idlout played "Irene," a song about a friend who was abused, for politicians visiting Iqaluit for the Status of Women conference last month, according to Sheutiapik.

The ministers suggested a street be renamed for the piece, "in memory of those who have either died or been abused," she explained.

The name will apply to the section of road leading from the Apex bridge to the shelter.

One step closer to new cathedral and Snack

Construction can begin on the new Snack restaurant, which will include a 32-seat dining room and take-out counter.

Council approved its development permit last Tuesday. It will be built on the same site as the previous restaurant, which was destroyed by a fire earlier this year.

Council also approved a development permit for the new Bishop of the Arctic Cathedral, which was burnt down in November of 2005.

The 896-square-metre Anglican church, which will be built on the same lot as the soup kitchen and parish hall, will have 400 seats.

New home for dog pound

Iqaluit's animal pound is heading to a new location.

Council was divided last Tuesday on what to do with the errant pooches, but moved to purchase a new building with a tiebreaking vote from the mayor. The city will acquire a building from Northern Property for $250,000 for both the pound and storage space.

"So now it's really going to cost us money to take care of these dogs," said Coun. Claude Martel, who suggested keeping the dogs in condemned public housing. "Why should I pay for somebody else's dogs?"

The current site is owned by Qulliq Energy, which allowed the city free use of the property for over 10 years in a gentleman's agreement.

Qulliq Energy wishes to reclaim the building, and offered the city $30,000 to vacate it.

According to Rod Mugford, chief municipal enforcement officer, the current building is in terrible condition, with inadequate ventilation and waste disposal.

Staff must wear a breathing apparatus while caring for the dogs, he said.

Deputy mayor says residents 'falling prey' to hard drugs

Deputy mayor Al Hayward said he believes hard drugs are on the rise in Iqaluit, and criticized the RCMP for failing to communicate with municipal council.

At a meeting last Tuesday, Hayward told council he has received complaints from people whose family members are "falling prey" to hard drugs.

"These are residents who were born and raised in Iqaluit, who have lived here for many years. They didn't come here with this problem, the problem came to them," he said.

Hayward requested that the RCMP resume their monthly updates to the mayor, and provide information about local drug statistics and policing policies.

"I have heard wonderful things about the relationships that other councils...have with their RCMP detachment, and I am ashamed that Iqaluit cannot boast the same," he said.

He said their last report, in March, was "very weak."

Hayward also questioned the RCMP's staffing situation, saying the detachment has recently required help from city bylaw officers and RCMP from Ottawa.