Uqqummiut MLA Mary Killiktee is seeking support for Clyde River, which declared a state of local emergency on Feb. 10 after a series of blizzards and an inability to keep up with snow clearing due to malfunctioning heavy equipment.
In the Legislative Assembly on March 7, Minister of Community and Government Services David Joanasie replied that an airplane will be going to Clyde River to help, but didn’t specify what that assistance will entail.
Clyde River senior administrative officer Jerry Natanine later said the incoming flight will be carrying diesel fuel and it should arrive on the weekend.
Joanasie also mentioned that the territorial government has lent some equipment to the community.
“One of the things that we’re looking at is potentially modifying the existing fuel storage in Clyde River to accommodate multiple fuel types,” Joanasie said of the lack of diesel storage in the community.
Clyde River has historically used jet A fuel for many of its needs.
Killiktee asked how the Department of Community and Government Services is working with the Municipal Training Organization to provide training and courses that will increase the capacity of smaller communities to maintain their equipment fleets.
Joanasie said there are opportunities for communities to be trained on operations and maintenance of their equipment fleets.
“If they need further supports in different areas, we’re happy to work with them in this manner,” he said, adding that the issue could be discussed directly with the hamlet when he’s able to visit, which could be as soon as the conclusion of this session of the Legislative Assembly.
Killiktee, who resides in Qikiqtarjuaq, said she’s been unable to get into Clyde River recently due to bad weather.
“I’m still planning to try to go up there with the minister of Community and Government Services at the same time,” she said.
In response to Clyde River’s declaration of a state of local emergency, Baffinland Iron Mines Corporation donated 32 drums of diesel fuel to the north Baffin community during the week of February 21.
“We reached out to the community to offer our support,” wrote Stuart Weinberg, manager of stakeholder relations at Baffinland.
“This is similar to what we have done, and what we will continue to do, when there is a need in north Baffin communities.”
– with files from Trevor Wright