Iqaluit city councillor, charged with aggravated assault, resigns

·1 min read
Iqaluit Coun. Joanasie Akumalik in a photo from July 2020. (David Gunn/CBC - image credit)
Iqaluit Coun. Joanasie Akumalik in a photo from July 2020. (David Gunn/CBC - image credit)

A city councillor in Iqaluit who has been charged with aggravated assault has resigned from council.

Documents filed with the Nunavut Court of Justice show Coun. Joanasie Akumalik faces a charge of assaulting someone on June 10.

Akumalik was granted bail with conditions including a no-contact order with the person he is accused of assaulting. He has applied to remove that condition.

Akumalik has not publicly addressed the charge, but Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell told CBC Wednesday that Akumalik had resigned from council.

That confirmation came after Bell had initially said that council would wait until a conviction before taking any action.

"Obviously, it's not something that we wanted to hear," Bell said earlier. "At the same time, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, so we have to make sure that that process is followed."

Bell also said that though he doesn't know Akumalik on a personal level, he has been a "valuable member" of council.

"It's a terrible situation, you know, and I hope for the best for everybody involved at the end of the day."

Akumalik is originally from Arctic Bay. He moved to Iqaluit in the 1980s and had been a city councillor since 2013.

He's scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 11.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting