Work is still underway on the harbor side, but will be completed this fall […] i.e. in Augustpromises Territorial Economic Development and Transportation Minister David Akeeagok. However, the new port will only be used from the next supply season, in June 2023.

Among the works to be completed are the electrification of the site and the installation of the final pavement structure.

The government must also complete the development of an operational plan that will dictate how the port’s activities will operate. It will include, among other things, information on safety and emergency measures, personnel, possible mooring costs and maintenance.

Minister David Akeeagok says the pandemic and lack of staff have contributed to delaying the finalization of the operating plan.

It would have been nice if all this information was ready for this season of refuelingsupports the mayor of Iqaluit, Kenny Bell. We need [de ce port] to solve our water supply problem and build housing.

Reduced unloading time

The deep water port project, which is located in southwestern Koojesse Inlet, near Iqaluit, is the result of twenty years of discussions. It should allow industrial, supply and cruise ships to dock there, which should ultimately contribute to increasing the efficiency of maritime transport in the region.

The vice-president responsible for sales and marketing of the shipping company NEAS, Marc-André Bougie, says that this new port will save time for his company: We will be able to unload [les navires] faster in Iqaluit, he said. He expects voyage times to be shortened, which could allow more ships to reach remote communities in Nunavut.

As the waters around the present harbor are not deep enough, supply boats have to stop in Frobisher Bay and bring their goods to Iqaluit by barge.

This port will facilitate our unloading operations and remove the risk compared to unloading on bargescontinues Marc-André Bougie.

However, his company is not in a position to foresee whether this efficiency gain will translate into lower delivery costs for its customers.

Nunavut communities, such as Iqaluit, are supplied by sealift during the summer.

Photo: Radio-Canada / David Gunn

Outstanding questions

The company Tower Arctic began construction of the port in the summer of 2018 and was originally scheduled to complete in October 2020. This goal was later postponed for a year due to delays caused by the pandemic.

Several actors affected by the project regret not having been better informed by the territorial government on the progress of the site. I haven’t been given any information about the port since last summersupports the mayor of Iqaluit.

He adds that some questions remain unanswered, including the future of the road linking the new port to the city. Once the new port is operational, this gravel road, which is under the responsibility of the City, will be used by heavy vehicles transporting goods, which raises safety issues.

Construction of the Port of Iqaluit began in the summer of 2018 and is now expected to be completed sometime in August.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Matisse Harvey

The road requires $9.7 million in improvements that include paving and the City cannot afford these costshe said.

Minister David Akeeagok says a development agreement with the City should allow the government to contribute financially.

In 2016, Ottawa granted an envelope of nearly $64 million to the Government of Nunavut for the construction of the port. For its part, the territorial government provided approximately $21 million.

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