Nunavut Post

Hamlet councilor who spoke out against Nunavut mine expansion dismissed

Nunavut

Key takeaways: 

  • Pond Inlet mayor says Boazie Ootoova is dismissed for skipping meetings; Ootoova urges otherwise.
  • Pond Inlet, Nunavut, is the nearest community to Baffinland’s Mary River iron ore mine. 
  • An offered expansion project for the mine has been contentious, with some citizens accepting the jobs and advantages while others are concerned about environmental and cultural effects.

Nunavut, an ex hamlet councilor in Pond Inlet, thinks he was dismissed from the council partly because he spoke out against the mayor and a contentious mine expansion project.

Boazie Ootoova was fired from the hamlet council on May 5; Mayor Joshua Arreak assured CBC News. 

But Arreak refuses that it had anything to do with Baffinland’s Mary River mine — instead, he says, Ootoova had missed too many council conferences.

Earlier, Ootoova had penned a letter to the federal government blaming Arreak for missing the council in January to “improperly” throw the town’s help behind Baffinland’s offered Phase 2 expansion project. Ootoova wrote that he thought it his duty as a councilor to voice his worries to the minister.

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Nunavut, an ex hamlet councilor in Pond Inlet, thinks he was dismissed from the council partly because he spoke out against the mayor and a contentious mine expansion project

CBC News had asked for the minutes from the May 5 hamlet council meeting when Ootoova was voted off the council. 

Ootoova says he didn’t hear anything regarding it till a few days back. He states he had been in hospital in Ottawa for two months because of difficulties connected to COVID-19 and returned home this week to find he was no longer a counselor.

According to the hamlet, there was no way to reach Ootoova while he was out. Ootoova states he couldn’t pay his phone bills while in Ottawa. 

Skipped three meetings

Arreak said the decision was made because Ootoova had skipped three council meetings. The mayor did not propose further explanation and dropped a recorded interview with CBC News. 

Source – cbc.ca

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