Iqaluit council 'left in the dark' on worker struck by garbage truck
'Please continue to pray for my recovery as I have to learn how to walk again'
City councillors in Iqaluit are angry at city administration officials for what some are calling "another example of lack of transparency," after learning of a city worker who was seriously injured on duty, more than a week after it happened.
The comments, from councillor Terry Dobbin and echoed by fellow councillor Gideonie Joamie, at Tuesday night's council meeting came after Dobbin learned through social media about James Dorrington — a seven-year City of Iqaluit worker who was recently run over by a garbage truck while on duty.
Dorrington, according to his Facebook page, is recovering in hospital in Ottawa after the injury. Other posts by his family say he underwent multiple surgeries.
"Please continue to pray for my recovery as I have to learn how to walk again," Dorrington posted on Sunday. "The Arctic snow saved my life."
A spokesperson with the Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission confirmed the incident happened on April 18, and they're investigating.
Council 'left in the dark'
Matthew Hamp, the City's director of public works, wouldn't comment on the incident, saying only that it's under investigation and that WSCC officials are in town conducting interviews today.
Meanwhile in council chambers, Dobbin wished Dorrington well but questioned why councillors only found out about the incident more than a week later.
"I'm sort of taken aback by administration, again leaving council in the dark," Dobbin says.
"Everybody knows about it. It's just another example of a lack of transparency and I don't know why council keeps being continuously left in the dark. It blows my mind."
Joamie echoed Dobbin's comments, but went a step further in correlating the accident and transparency with the past history of disrepair among City vehicles.
"Given the fact that we had a council last year that detailed the disrepair of our vehicles, I thought it would have been prudent for administration to keep on top of this, and at least brief us," Joamie said.
"Having said that, I would look forward to the administration giving us an update on the repairs of our city vehicles."
Nunavut Employees Union president Bill Fennell also couldn't comment on the specific details of what happened to Dorrington.
When asked about what kind of involvement the union would have in the case, Fennell said WSCC is handling it, "unless it was found that for some reason it was disrepair of the equipment."
Fennell added that to his knowledge, this was a freak accident and faulty equipment wasn't a factor.