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Legislative briefs for the Kivalliq

Learning centre, health centre, caribou top list
Aivilik MLA Solomon Malliki tabled a letter from the Aiviit Hunters and Trappers Organization that expressed concern over a high amount of caribou meat being sold and shipped out. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Alexander Sammurtok pressed Minister of Community and Government Services David Joanasie on the need for gravel supplies in Chesterfield Inlet March 11 in the legislative assembly.

Sammurtok noted there were less than two years of gravel remaining and said that access to sufficient supplies of quality gravel is essential for the development of community infrastructure, including the planned new airport terminal building, road repairs and land lot development.

Joanasie responded that the community identified the development of a new quarry as its 24th priority in the municipality’s integrated community sustainability plan.

He went on to say his department has reached out to all communities to understand their granular needs and it is an ongoing area the Government of Nunavut looks to support them in.

Baker Lake health centre in early stages

Baker Lake MLA Craig Simailak asked Minister of Health John Main for a status update on planning for a new health centre in Baker Lake.

“Looking at all of the health centres in Nunavut, the absolute priority replacement is Qikiqtarjuaq and right next to it is Baker Lake,” responded Main through interpretation.

He noted that the current health centre is too small and the kitchen is often used as a staffroom, with non-clinical rooms used for record filing and storage.

Main said the government is preparing the preplanning envelope for the health centre, following which would be a detailed design process.

New Baker Lake QEC office on track

Joanna Quassa, minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corporation, confirmed in the legislative assembly that the new head office for the organization is on schedule and slated to be completed in Baker Lake August 2022. The project was previously estimated to cost $16.2 million.

‘Urgent’ need for new learning centre in Chesterfield Inlet

At only 90 square metres in size, Chesterfield Inlet’s learning centre is one of the smallest facilities in Nunavut and the community urgently needs a new one, said Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Alexander Sammurtok March 14.

The current learning centre contains only a single classroom and a computer lab, and due to its small size, only one course can be delivered per season, he added.

He encouraged Pamela Gross, the minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College, to bring forward a new community learning centre project for the community in her capital plan.

Gross responded that the community has been identified as one for her department’s capital planner to visit and assess. She added that in the 2022-‘23 fiscal year, Nunavut Arctic College has introduced four community learning centres into the capital planning process, and Chesterfield Inlet is one of the communities that will be going forward.

Caribou population survey deferred to 2023

A letter tabled by the Aiviit Hunters and Trappers Organization requested a survey for caribou on Southampton Island and Coats Island.

“The last survey was done in the year 2019 and the results of the survey showed stable numbers between year 2015 and 2019 with approximately 12,000 animals,” wrote Danny Pee, chair of the organization, in the letter to Aivilik MLA Solomon Malliki, who tabled it in the legislative assembly.

Pee went on to write that the board is concerned about the population declining due to many harvests of caribou and because they were being sold by hunters to create income.

“There has been a report from our airline that in the year 2021 there was 21,000 lbs of caribou meat shipped out of the community for sale purpose,” wrote Pee.

Minister of Environment David Akeeagok said pandemic restrictions delayed the survey, which was planned for the current fiscal year. It will instead be planned for May 2023.