A look back at 2017 in Nunavut

A look back at 2017 in Nunavut

Charles, the Prince of Wales, middle, visits with elders at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park June 29 along with then Nunavut premier, Peter Taptuna, seated left, and Carolyn Bennett, federal minister of Crown Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

Then Finance Minister Keith Peterson buys 12 Corona at Iqaluit new beer and wine story on opening day, Sept. 6. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

Not only did the city four year drought without a functioning pool end in January, when the ultra modern aquatic and fitness centre opened its doors, Iqalungmiut also got a chance to whet another whistle, when the Government of Nunavut opened the first beer and wine store seen in the city since the 1970s.

But what 2017 giveth, it taketh away as well.

In August, the city lost one of its largest hotels, the Hotel Arctic, when owners sold the building. The city accommodations deficit grew to troubling proportion as visitors travelling to the capital for conferences and other events scrambled to find a place to stay.

And the unexpected? Iqaluit had that this year too when Swiss International Airlines Flight 40, flying to New York City from Europe, was forced to make a dramatic emergency landing in Iqaluit after one of the jet engines failed mid flight.

The airline sent a replacement to rescue passengers and the Boeing 737 300 departed Iqaluit a week later, after mechanics managed to install a new engine in extreme sub zero temperatures feat that drew international attention and that was described by its owners as nothing short of an engineering marvel.

Here is the Nunatsiaq News list of our most memorable Iqaluit stories from 2017:

City of Iqaluit announces a byelection to replace two vacant seats on city council after the abrupt resignation of Coun. Megan Pizzo Lyall, Jan 10. Coun. Gideonie Joamie had already resigned in 2016 but that seat was not immediately filled.

$40.6 million aquatic centre opens with a splash, Jan. 26, after four years of development by the cash strapped city administration. Officials promise that low income families would enjoy subsidized drop in fees by a future program, later announced as the Kilabuk Children Recreation Fund. than 80 residents in Nunavut capital form a circle around Iqaluit first and only mosque, honouring victims of a deadly shooting at a mosque in Sainte Foy, Quebec, Jan. 29, that killed six people and injured another 19.

City of Iqaluit and two of its employees, Keith Baines and Ben Kovic Jr., are formally charged with numerous violations under the Nunavut Safety Act, Jan. 31,
A look back at 2017 in Nunavut
stemming from the near fatal injury sustained by city worker James Dorrington during a workplace accident last April.

than 200 people aboard a Swiss International Airlines flight to New York City are stranded in Iqaluit when their Boeing 777 300 was forced to make an emergency landing, Feb. 1, after one of the plane engines conked out over the Atlantic. The plane departs a week later after a new engine is flown to Nunavut capital and installed at a cost of $24 million.

resident Brian Czar is charged with trafficking narcotics after police seize 40 pounds of marijuana in his luggage aboard a flight from Ottawa to Iqaluit, Feb. 4. The bust is part of a larger investigation into the illegal drug trade in Nunavut.

public housing units are destroyed Feb. 21 during a late evening fire that guts a six plex housing unit on Siku Crescent in Iqaluit 300s area. City firefighters take three hours to bring the flames under control in overnight temperatures that fall below 30 C.

Government of Nunavut announces it will create an internal advisory board for the Qikiqtani General Hospital in Iqaluit, Feb. 22, drawing criticism from Iqaluit Niaqunnguu MLA Pat Angnakak that a GN controlled board won address administrative concerns raised in a 2011 report.

cook Sheila Lumsden is introduced to Canada as one of Masterchef Canada 24 contestants during the premiere episode of the series fourth season on CTV, March 2.

Kieran Drachenberg, an Iqaluit teenager and transgender rights advocate, sits behind Justice minister Keith Peterson on March 13, as he reads into law a bill amending the Nunavut Human Rights Act to include protections for gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, at the Nunavut Legislative Assembly.

community builder and long time resident Tom Webster passes away in Ottawa after a battle with multiple myeloma, March 31. Webster was 73.

Brown, a former public works superintendent with the City of Iqaluit, becomes the third employee charged with offences under the Safety Act following the near fatal injury of city worker James Dorrington in April 2016.

City of Iqaluit commits more than $1 million to the city men and women homeless shelters over the next five years, April 11, prompting Iqaluit councillor and homeless rights advocate Joanasie Akumalik to bang his desk in approval as the motion is read in city chambers.

springtime festival, Toonik Tyme, marks the end of its 52nd annual celebration, April 22. Toonik Tyme organizer Travis Cooper announces he will step down as the society president.

are stunned following a vicious attack on a disabled 73 year old elder in her home; a man breaks into her elder row house unit, attacks her in her bed and then robs her before departing, May 9.

Hodgson, 37, is charged with the second degree murder of Bradley Winsor, 23, who died at an Apex home in the early morning of May 19.

Reports of improper expense claims put Apex Qimaavik Women Shelter under the microscope, prompting the Government of Nunavut to announce it will conduct a forensic audit of the society expenses, May 29.

dozen volunteer fitness instructors at Iqaluit aquatic centre depart from their positions, after the instructors complain to the city recreation department about safety and maintenance issues June 19.
A look back at 2017 in Nunavut