The City of Iqaluit is waiving all of its water fees for the month of October, after passing a unanimous motion during the Oct. 26 city council meeting.
Allison Drummond, Senior Director of Corporate Services brought forward the motion, which gave three options:
1: To provide a full rebate for Oct. 2021;
2: To provide a certain percentage back per week for the duration of the declared emergency;
3: To provide no water rebate.
Council went with option one and will be providing a full rebate to residents as they were unable to provide potable water for an extended period of time and required assistance from citizens in flushing their pipes which resulted in additional water use.
“For now obviously we’ll do the month that we know, but we’ll see what happens in the next month and if we need to, do a week, two weeks or a month and we’ll just do it then,” said Iqaluit mayor Kenny Bell.
While funding assistance for the rebate is not guaranteed, the motion hopes to set expectations for future interruptions in City services and utilities.
However, the City won’t be footing the bill for people cleaning their water tanks because of the water crisis.
“Water tanks should be cleaned once a year anyways, there’s no real special equipment required … we’re not proposing it at this time,” said Amy Elgersma, Iqaluit’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
“Most of us are probably due to start with,” noted councillor John Fawcett, suggesting a large number of Iqaluit residents don’t clean their tanks often enough anyway. He later added that it should be a separate item for another city council meeting for those who do clean their tanks and have to do so again.