The Hamlet of Rankin Inlet will be operating the community’s group home after the southern company that had previously won the contract to run it unexpectedly retracted its bid.

Last month Rankin Inlet Mayor Harry Towtongie criticized the territorial government for its plans to award the contract to run the community group home to Shift, a Nova Scotia company.

Just a few weeks after Towtongie was public with his comments, the hamlet was notified that it would be running the group home after all as Shift had unexpectedly withdrawn its application.

“We were a little bit shocked too that it had come back,” SAO Darren Flynn told Kivalliq News.

Flynn said the hamlet was preparing to transition the running of the facility over to Shift when they received the news from the Department of Community and Government Services.

“We were prepared to work with the new company in a co-operative manner,” said Flynn. “We’d been outbid on the contract so we advised them of the service we were running. About a week later I got contacted by procurement at CGS advising me that they had withdrawn their bid, so it defaulted back to the hamlet’s bid.”

“We’re currently running the operation as we always have, so instead transitioning we’re looking at continuing to run the service,” he continued.

Rankin’s municipal government has been running the Rankin Inlet Adult Group Home on behalf of the Department of Family Services for the last six years.

The hamlet will now retain the $2.4 million contract for another three years, with the potential for three consecutive one-year extensions based on performance reviews conducted by the territorial government.

“That’s what it costs us to run the operation. We’re doing this a service to the community, we’re not profit driven,” Flynn said. Although it came as a surprise, Flynn said the hamlet is excited that the decision ended up going in its favour.

“It means employment will be maximize for the people of Rankin Inlet,” he said. “It’s good news, most importantly for the clients that occupy the building, who will have a continued level of service that they’ve had for the past six years.”

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