All construction workers must undergo a 14-day self-isolation period down south before entering Nunavut, said Minister Lorne Kusugak, on May 28. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

The Government of Nunavut (GN) is moving forward with construction projects this summer and fall regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Each municipality was given the opportunity to decide, without any pressure, whether to proceed with their construction projects, said Lorne Kusugak, minister of Community and Government Services.

Nineteen communities within the territory will undertake over 50 projects in total. These capital projects are valued at $600 million, said Kusugak.

“Given the significant size of our construction program, we rely on a certain level of skilled workers from southern Canada to work on these projects alongside our Inuit and Northern labour force,” said Kusugak, during the May 28 press conference.

“We need to balance the long-term infrastructure need for communities with the current Covid-19 restrictions.”

All southern construction workers will be required to complete a 14-day self-isolation period in the south before entering the territory, said the minister.

The construction workers will be permitted to self-isolate in the same isolation hubs as medical travellers and residents from Nunavut. GN designed hotels, for isolation purposes, are set up in Yellowknife, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Edmonton. Additionally, two self-isolation locations have been identified specifically for construction workers.

“On top of the current four isolation hubs, there will be an extra isolation hub in Ottawa and one, I believe, in Quebec City,” announced Kusugak.

Presently, there are about 125 construction workers registered for self-isolation. The GN anticipates about 100 more construction workers to register by May 31.

In total, the GN is expecting between 400 to 500 construction workers to enter Nunavut during this construction season.

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