South Baffin scrambles to field byelection candidates

Residents in Nunavut's South Baffin constituency have until Friday afternoon if they want to run in a byelection that was called after no one decided to run in the general election.

Residents in Nunavut's South Baffin constituency have until Friday afternoon if they want to run in a byelection that was called after no one put their name in as candidates in the territory's general election.

Candidates in Kimmirut and Cape Dorset have until 2 p.m. ET to submit their declaration papers with Elections Nunavut.

The byelection will be held Nov. 3, one week after Nunavummiut in all other constituencies will have chosen their MLAs in the Oct. 27 territorial election.

South Baffin made Nunavut history last week when it was the only constituency in Nunavut to have no candidates running.

"I guess it was a bit of a shock for some people, but I believe there [are] … some people trying to nominate a candidate. So hopefully there'll be one before Friday," Kimmirut resident Seemeega Aqpik told CBC News.

Cape Dorset Mayor Fred Schell, who is putting his name forward as a candidate, said he believes many people forgot the deadline and were embarrassed to learn no one was running on Oct. 27.

"By this Friday, there will definitely be a few candidates putting their names in," Schell said.

Elections Nunavut says it won't cost much to hold a separate byelection in South Baffin, as the budget that had been set aside for South Baffin in the general election will cover most of the byelection expenses.

"The same materials and equipment that would be used for the general election will be used at the byelection," chief electoral officer Sandy Kusugak said.

"We have not already shipped ballot boxes that have come back, for instance, or computers and printers, that sort of thing. So it's, really, very little expense."

Kusugak said the only separate expense would be two or three days of extra staff time to prepare for the byelection.