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Community on the rise

SAO oversees number of development projects in Sanikiluaq
Once completed, the new 14-bed women-and-children’s shelter in Sanikiluaq will also feature a solar-panel system for its roof courtesy of Municipal Green Infrastructure funding. Photo courtesy Ron Ladd

Sanikiluaq is a community on the rise and a good portion of that growth can be attributed to the efforts of Ron Ladd, who took the senior administration officer’s (SAO) position in the community about two-and-one-half-years ago.

Sanikiluaq is in the process of building a women-and-children’s shelter.

SAO Ladd said he’s been working on the project for about two years and Sanikiluaq is one of the fortunate communities to be getting a seven-bedroom, 14-bed shelter.

He said the (foundation) piles are already in for the project and building materials will be coming-in during this month’s sealift.

“The contract has been awarded and we have to thank our partners Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and the hamlet, itself,” said Ladd.

“Construction is scheduled to begin this month and will be completed by March of 2024. We’ll be holding a community celebration and cutting the ribbon to open the new facility on April 1 of 2024.”

Ladd said the piles are also in for the construction of a new hamlet office, with the estimated move-in date being August of 2024.

He said the roof blew off the old office more than two years ago and his office is currently located in a small trailer.

“The Government of Nunavut (GN) is responsible for that project, not the hamlet. The design for the new building is beautiful and the entire project is pretty exciting.

“We’re also pretty excited about another project we’re moving ahead with through the generous donations of CanNor (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency) and the GN’s Community and Government Services – and that’s a new wellness park.

“The wellness park will consist of a baseball diamond, a soccer field and a basketball court all featuring artificial turf.”

Ladd said he’s in year two of the wellness project, so all of the materials are in the community sitting in sea containers.

He said the sub-base for the turf is being finalized now and beginning this coming month, in July, the manufacturer will arrive to install everything and put the project together.

“When the project manager from the manufacturer arrives, he’ll be hiring 10 students to help put it all together this summer.

“The 10 students were able to be hired through the Kakivak Association, which supplied the funding for the positions.

“Another interesting aspect is that there’s a trail at the back of the wellness park that leads out to hunting and fishing, so we also have a $100,000 bridge being installed as part of that project.

“The bridge, basically about 40- or 50-feet long, is already here and we just have to put it together. It’s manufactured by Algonquin Bridge (Thornhill, Ont.), and we’ll bolt it together in 10-foot segments and drag it across the river.”

Ladd said Sanikiluaq will also be installing its first floating dock this month, which will allow 10-or-11 boats to be put into the community’s marina.

He said the docks will aid in traditional hunting and fishing, but the community is hoping they might also aid in attracting tourists to Sanikiluaq.

“We hope to attract some tourists from Northern Quebec to come over on a boat for the weekend and park at our floating docks.

“I’m putting in floating docks for 10 or 11 people in one section this month, and I’ll be putting in a second set of floating docks this coming September, so there will be enough floating docks for about 20 boats here.

“We, as a community, are thankful we’re moving forward with these projects. It is pretty exciting. There’s no doubt about that.

“These projects were started the day I landed on the ground, so it’s been a two-year process and it feels good seeing them all coming to fruition.

“I’ve also ordered a refrigerated three-person morgue and that will be arriving on this sealift. We do have to find a building to put it in so, unfortunately, for the present time, we’ll have to use a sea container for that service until we (the hamlet) figure out what building we can put it in.”