Citizen accuses City of Iqaluit of ignoring vandalism

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Resident Janet Armstrong is not happy that the city is overlooking vandalism in the capital, and she wants answers.

Armstrong appeared before city council in Iqaluit Aug. 8 and asked several pointed questions. She came armed with photos and a prepared presentation, shortened to accommodate council’s full agenda.

Iqaluit resident Janet Armstrong asked city council Aug. 8 why vandalism to a popular city trail is not being attended to. “The photos show that the entire front of the lookout platform (on the Apex Trail) has been knocked out and shoved down the hill, the wooden pieces in the sides have been destroyed and two holes burnt into the platform. Plus there is litter such as pop cans everywhere,” she said.
photo courtesy Janet Armstrong

“I came to discuss the Apex trail and outlook platform. Once again this platform has been damaged to the extreme, and not repaired in a timely fashion,” said Armstrong.

“It was established in 2008 by the City of Iqaluit. It is mentioned in the city guide book. It has even been mentioned in the Lonely Planet as a place to go. And, yet, it is always being damaged. I have many photos to show the damages over the years.

“The entire front of the lookout platform (on the Apex Trail) has been knocked out and shoved down the hill, the wooden pieces in the sides have been destroyed and two holes burnt into the platform. Plus there is litter such as pop cans everywhere.”

Armstrong had four questions for council.

“Why are damages to important structures, signage and areas not repaired in a timely fashion,” she asked, offering as examples the outlook platform, the stone wall at Iqaluit Square.

She also said some trails and walkways have not been cleared of snow for at least three years.

“Bylaws put in place for the walkways have not been enforced at all,” said Armstrong.

Her list continued: sign at four corners not repaired in at least three years, street signs not replaced when damaged or stolen, park areas in the downtown core have not been maintained in many years, and incorrect cemetery signage.

For this last one she said the spelling is not only incorrect but the sign is on the ground leaning against the fence.

Armstrong wanted to know if city workers even know who is responsible for maintenance of each area, why bylaws that might prevent damages are not enforced and, most importantly, what can the city do to prevent people from doing things like stealing bikes, destroying structures, littering, creating random dump sites anywhere, and breaking all traffic rules.

Mayor Madeleine Redfern thanked Armstrong for her presentation.

Council was otherwise silent on the issue at the meeting. Nunavut News/North asked the City of Iqaluit what happens when a resident appeals to council.

“For council presentations, quite often the next steps are also discussed during the Council meeting – i.e. a motion is made in relation to a decision, that sets out what the next steps may be,” stated the city’s communications manager Andrea Spitzer via e-mail.

“The issue may also be directed to a specific committee for further review and/or discussion. Decisions made a committee meeting can also be presented to council for further discussion.”

Spitzer also noted information sessions presented by residents can be discussed between the mayor and chief administrative officer (CAO) after the council meeting.

“The information is also noted by the CAO, and discussed with the appropriate department head. The issue is reviewed, and considered in the context of overall work-plans and budgets,” said Spitzer.

Iqaluit resident Janet Armstrong asked city council Aug. 8 why vandalism to a popular city trail is not being attended to. “The photos show that the entire front of the lookout platform (on the Apex Trail) has been knocked out and shoved down the hill, the wooden pieces in the sides have been destroyed and two holes burnt into the platform. Plus there is litter such as pop cans everywhere,” she said.
photo courtesy Janet Armstrong