Elections Nunavut corrects Grise Fiord land referendum results

Elections Nunavut had mistakenly reported Grise Fiord was the only hamlet in Nunavut to vote Yes on the territorial Land Referendum. The results have now been updated.

The hamlet had voted No, but the results were reported as Yes

The hamlet of Grise Fiord had voted No, but the results were reported as Yes by Elections Nunavut. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

As of late Monday night Elections Nunavut had mistakenly reported Grise Fiord was the only hamlet in Nunavut to vote Yes on the territorial Land Referendum. The results have now been corrected.

Grise Fiord, like the rest of Nunavut, overwhelmingly voted No to the sale of municipal lands. The final results are four people voting Yes and 29 people voting No, with a voter turnout of 60 per cent.

Marty Kuluguqtuq, the hamlet's senior administrative officer said that a Yes vote didn't seem quite right among those in the community.

"When we checked the results online, we were quite surprised actually," said Kuluguqtuq.

"Those of who voted on the plebiscite looked at each other and thought there was something not right over here. And sure enough we checked it out this morning."

​Nunavummiut across the rest of the territory voted with a resounding No to the sale of municipal lands, in some municipalities like Iqaluit, the No votes more than doubled the number of Yes votes.

Sandy Kusugak, Nunavut's chief electoral officer, said Grise Fiord's results also raised eyebrows at the Elections Nunavut office.

"I thought they were unusual and then as the other results came in from the other communities we realized they were very much off side," she said.

"We did check with the RO [returning officer] a number of times and he maintained that was the way it went, but in the middle of the night he sent a new statement of the poll and then we updated everything accordingly as soon as we woke up."


Sima Sahar Zerehi is a reporter with CBC North. She started her career in journalism with the ethnic press working for a Canadian-based Farsi language newspaper. Her CBC journey began as a regular commentator with CBC radio's Metro Morning. Since then she's worked with CBC in Montreal, Toronto and now Iqaluit.