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City moves to increase funding to food centres and shelters in Iqaluit

The biggest adjustment will be for the Uquutaq Society who will be receiving an additional $155,000

During a May 11 City Council meeting, Councillor Kyle Sheppard moved to extend the State of Local Emergency declared May 4 as a response to community transmission in the capital to May 18. The motion passed unanimously.

“It’s specifically to make sure the citizens of Iqaluit understand the situation we are in. We are asking people to make sure they follow the CPHO (chief public health officer) orders at all times and limit contact with people outside of their households,” said Kenny Bell, Mayor of Iqaluit.

On May 5 at 10 a.m., council opened a Virtual Emergency Operations Centre (VEOC) to help with the response.

The series of action items identified through the VEOC includes the following:

1: Amplifying Government of Nunavut COVID-19 messaging;

2: Supporting community groups beyond existing supports that provide services to vulnerable populations;

3: Engage the Red Cross to provide assistance with workplace assessments, shelter relief workers, and mental health supports;

4: Work with the COVID-19 enforcement task force and provide immediate complimentary support for enforcing the public health act;

5: Reassign staff to deliver and support community programs where possible and necessary;

6: Participate in essential workplace surveillance testing;

7: Work closely with QIA (Qikiqtani Inuit Association) to co-ordinate response efforts;

8: Identify and designate public and private assets (facilities); and

9: Order masks specifically for children and youth for community distribution.

Reallocating COVID-19 response funding

Alison Drummond, senior director of corporate services, requested a decision to reallocate the remaining COVID-19 response funding, $805,000 was allocated up until December and more than half of what was allocated is still available.

“We have $508,196 remaining allocated before the end of (the year), the four societies were contacted for what level of support they require at this time,” said Drummond.

$155,000 is going towards the Uquutaq Society to assist with transitional housing and emergency shelter.

Tukisigiarvik Society will be funded $65,000 to support their hygiene and vulnerable population food program.

An additional $65,000 will being going towards the Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre’s food service and delivery program.

The YWCA will also be getting an additional $55,000 to support it’s operations and offset COVID-related costs.