Nunavut News Year in Review: August

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Several federal funding announcements for the 2021 federal election

In late July and early August, several federal ministers stopped in Iqaluit to make various funding announcements.

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller has pledged that Nunavut will receive a portion of a $ 724 million pie earmarked for Indigenous-led and operated shelters across Canada for people facing gender-based violence.

Ahmed Hussen, the federal minister responsible for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, announced on August 3 that Iqaluit, Gjoa Haven and Kugluktuk would get $ 10 million for housing, including $ 5 million for Iqaluit.

Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, announced on August 4 a $ 40 million investment in a deepwater port in Qikiqtarjuaq.

Northern Affairs Minister Daniel Vandal visited Iqaluit on August 12 and announced that $ 517.8 million would be available for ready-to-go infrastructure projects in Inuit Nunangat. A specific amount for Nunavut had not been allocated at that time.

On August 13, Vandal also announced a $ 41.7 million contribution agreement with the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated to fund the construction of the Nunavut Recovery Center.

Hussen, in his capacity as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, made another announcement of $ 10 million on August 13, this time to extend the Youth Learning and Child Care Agreement. children.

On August 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called on Governor General Mary Simon to dissolve Parliament and called an election for September 20.

Nunavummiut tired of boiling drinking water

During this summer, various communities in Nunavut faced boil water advisories. Baker Lake received four boil water advisories between July 2020 and June 2021.

On July 12, Whale Cove, Iglulik and Resolute Bay saw boil water advisories issued. Most of the advisories outside of Iqaluit were due to the cloudy water, also known as turbidity.

The Kugluktuk water treatment plant was upgraded in 2017, but residents were surprised to receive a boil water advisory due to the turbidity. The Department of Health introduced new turbidity standards in 2019.

While turbidity itself is not a health concern according to the Department of Community and Government Services (CGS), it does indicate an additional risk associated with water quality.

Over the past five years, CGS has spent almost $ 90 million to build new water treatment plants across Nunavut.

During a trip to Iqaluit, Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller said Canada will continue to invest in better water quality.

Paul Quassa resigns from his post as deputy for Aggie

Veteran politician Paul Quassa officially announced his resignation as MP for Aggie on August 13.

Quassa has represented his constituency which includes a large part of Iglulik since 2013 and served as Premier of Nunavut from November 2017 to June 2018. He is also the former President of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

“Earlier this year, I advised my constituents that I will not seek re-election as a member of the Legislative Assembly,” Quassa said. “I look forward to continuing to make contributions to our territory in other forums. “

Sanikiluaq organizes the opening ceremony of a new health center

On August 11, a special ceremony marked the opening of the new Sanikiluaq Health Center with an area of ​​1,775 square meters. Health Minister Lorne Kusugak, Community and Government Services Minister Jeannie Ehaloak, Hudson’s Bay MPP Allan Rumbolt and Sanikuluaq Mayor Johnnie Cookie cut a ribbon to celebrate the occasion.

“Today we celebrate the opening of vital community infrastructure,” said Ehaloak.

The health ministry said the new health center will allow for the future addition of staff, a more welcoming experience for visitors and improved access to integrated health services.

Nighttime fire destroys Baker Lake daycare

Baker Lake is in shock after a fire destroyed the community’s daycare the day before the first day of school.

Baker Lake police and firefighters were called at 2:30 a.m. on August 17. Baker Lake resident Freddie Oovayuk recorded a video which he posted on Facebook.

Oovayuk said firefighters were already fighting the blaze by the time he arrived at the scene.

“As soon as I saw the flames, I knew I had to go live,” he said.

At the time, the RCMP said the incident was under investigation.

Despite the pandemic, Iqaluit finds itself in good financial health

On August 18, the City of Iqaluit provided details on the municipality’s 2020 consolidated financial statements.

Despite the onset of Covid-19 at the end of 2019, the City of Iqaluit managed to find itself in an overall positive financial position, having increased its net assets by $ 10 million compared to 2018, presenting cash and financial assets and fewer liabilities. This was the result of infrastructure projects such as upgrading the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, planning a new solid waste management facility as well as purchasing equipment and improvements to the town hall.

“The city has been able to adapt to changing priorities to support our community during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell.

“The city is on the right track towards financial stability so that we can improve our services, with the help of our partners.

Baker Lake hunters catch community’s first bowhead whale

A group of hunters from Baker Lake made local history on August 15, hunting the community’s first bowhead whale. Hunters from the interior community of Kivalliq took off from Chesterfield Inlet on July 27 and August 16, social media announcements of the successful harvest of a 40-foot bowhead whale around 9 p.m. the day before.

Baker Lake Mayor Richard Aksawnee called it a historic day for the community.

Hunters have spent most of the previous three weeks camping on Harbor Island, near Naujaat.

One of the hunters, David Simailak, said the next difficult step was butchering the whale, a task that the hunters of Naujaat were involved in.

“We are all extremely proud of all of our bowhead whalers,” said Simailak.

RCMP officer charged with assault in Sanirajak

An RCMP officer working in Sanirajak has been charged with assault, which allegedly occurred while the officer was on duty and responding to a call in the summer of 2020.

Cpl. Ian Crowe was formally charged on August 24.

“The criminal charge is very serious. This allegation does not reflect the integrity of our individual members or represent what we stand for as a police service, ”said Amanda Jones, Commander V Division RCMP.

No other details were disclosed.

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