Iqaluit city councillors are considering what to do about the vacancy left by former councillor Jimmy Kilabuk's death.

There has been an empty seat on council since Kilabuk died at the end of April, six months after the municipal election.

Council has three choices: leave the seat empty, appoint someone from the community or hold a byelection.


Iqaluit mayor John Graham says if council decides to hold a byelection, planning would have to start soon so it could possible be held on Oct. 28, the same day as the territorial election. (CBC)

Councillor Romeyn Stevenson is in favour of a byelection. He said an eighth councillor brings another set of valuable opinions.  

"I really feel the void of the eighth person in this room," he said. "I notice it regularly in our discussions and our conversations."

Mayor John Graham suggested council think of Kilabuk's wishes.

"Maybe we should be guided by the fact that in his last councillor's statement to us, Councillor Kilabuk did express the fact that he wanted his seat filled," he said.

Graham said if council decides on a byelection, planning would have to start soon.  He says there may be possibility of holdng it on Oct. 28, the same day as the territorial election. That way the city would have a chance to defray some of the estimated $90,000 cost of holding a byelection vote.  

That expense made Councillor Joanasie Akumalik say council should think about appointing a replacement.

Council has asked city administration to find out more from the Nunavut government about the possibility and costs associated with holding a municipal byelection in conjunction with the territorial election on Oct. 28.