The Department of Economic Development is providing $799,000 to design and build a new community freezer in Baker Lake, Minister David Akeeagok said in the legislative assembly on Friday.
The new structure will take the place of an aging and malfunctioning community freezer that broke down last July, which resulted in the loss of thousands of pounds of meat.
The parts for the new community freezer were shipped to Baker Lake during sealift in fall 2020, Akeeagok noted. It’s expected that the structure will be assembled, the power hooked-up and the freezer will be in use by this summer, he added.
The money for the project comes through the GN’s Country Food Distribution Program, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada and the Canadian Northern Regional Development Agency (CanNor).
“I want to congratulate Mayor (Richard) Aksawnee, the Hamlet of Baker Lake and the Baker Lake HTO for its hard work on this project,” Akeeagok said. “This collaboration between our organizations is a great example of how various levels of government, HTOs, harvesters and communities can work together to support our harvesters and to help address food insecurity in our communities … Harvesting plays a vital role in the social economy and we as a department support and understand this and will collaborate with the communities to ensure that the Country Food Distribution Program is utilized to the needs of each unique community.”