Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut May 03, 2018 - 10:30 am

Inuit birthright firm gets yellow light for new Iqaluit hotel

QC will drive piles this summer for 94-room hotel, 600-person conference centre

Michelle Armstrong, planning and development officer for the City of Iqaluit, displays a map showing a parcel of Inuit-owned land that the Qikiqtaaluk Corp. is seeking development permits for, during a committee meeting held earlier in April. Last week, city council approved a development permit that would let the company start building a hotel and conference centre on Federal Road in two phases. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
Michelle Armstrong, planning and development officer for the City of Iqaluit, displays a map showing a parcel of Inuit-owned land that the Qikiqtaaluk Corp. is seeking development permits for, during a committee meeting held earlier in April. Last week, city council approved a development permit that would let the company start building a hotel and conference centre on Federal Road in two phases. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)

The Qikiqtaaluk Corp. doesn’t yet have full permission from the City of Iqaluit to build a new hotel and conference centre on Federal Road, but the Inuit-owned birthright corporation did get a go-ahead for preliminary site preparation work this summer on their proposed new building.

Iqaluit city council passed a motion last week to issue a development permit to QC for the hotel and conference centre in two steps, or phases.

The 94-room hotel and 600-person conference centre is part of a larger plan by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to also build a heritage centre, performing arts centre, and affordable Inuit housing on a 40-acre parcel of Inuit-owned land.

A 143-seat bar would be attached to the hotel.

The QIA is the designated Inuit organization that manages the land, which Inuit own in fee simple title through the Nunavut Agreement.

“The phased approach to approvals will allow the applicant to start site preparation and piling works, while the details of the required off-site servicing agreement can be determined,” the city’s acting chief administrative officer, Amy Elgersma said in a city council memo, April 24.

That servicing agreement has to do with a roadway and sewer line that QC will finance on the undeveloped land.

The city wants to make sure it won’t be indebted to QC for that infrastructure.

So the two parties are working out a cost recovery agreement for the road and sewer line.

That could come into play if the city receives revenue from a future subdivision that could be attached to the new access road and sewer system.

Once that’s all worked out, a final permit would be issued for QC to build the hotel, road and sewer line.

Coun. Kyle Sheppard suggested the two-step development permit during a meeting of Iqaluit’s planning and development committee on April 11.

“We’re not putting ourselves at risk by allowing limited development,” Sheppard said.

But Deputy Mayor Romeyn Stevenson said he wondered if it is wise to allow preliminary development before a full permit is issued.

“He wants to order a building … a building that isn’t approved,” Stevenson said.

Sheldon Nimchuk, QC’s project manager, called the start of the project a “calculated risk.”

“We will take the risk, we are ready to order,” he said.

“We entered into a discussion with the city in good faith … We’d like to get underway with the hotel, and certainly create language that protects the city,” Nimchuk said.

The project could end up delaying the city’s plans to pave Federal Road, Mayor Madeleine Redfern said, because it makes more sense to pave the road after any new sewer lines are put in.

Hotel space is in short supply in Iqaluit, and has been since the Hotel Arctic shut down last summer.

That building is now a residence for Nunavut Arctic College students.

Another hotel is being built by the Nova Group of Companies in Iqaluit this summer in a lot across from the Tammaativvik boarding home.

Last fall, Nova Group also purchased the Discovery Hotel.


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(20) Comments:

#1. Posted by Putuguk on May 03, 2018

Why seemingly no Inuit at the Planning and Lands Committee meeting?

This for one of the most significant new developments in the capital for a few years…on Inuit Owned Land…by a birthright company.

No wonder we voted no on land ownership.

We just seem not to choose to involve ourselves in anything to do with real property.

When ignorance is bliss, ‘tis folly to be wise.

#2. Posted by Wonderer on May 03, 2018

I wonder how long the hotel will be running for? Seems like anything QC gets their business in, usually ends up closing the doors after a couple years or so… Good luck!

#3. Posted by Esquimo on May 03, 2018

In the Kivalliq region.  Only staff and board benefit. No future looking aspirations from their board & staff.  Half of the board can’t read and write, the staff only have skills set to accomplish today.  Zero skill sets to look into the future.  Basically controlled by mining companies.  You Kivalliqmiut are disappointing.

#4. Posted by eskimo joe on May 03, 2018

boy you guys are one sad case. qc is not bad, the only problem is that it is ran by inuks with inuk ceo, inuk prez and inuk boards members. would it have been better if it was ran and operated by fly by night ceos and owners? $$$ stays in nunavut, its alright….

#5. Posted by Nunavutmiuta on May 03, 2018

Eskimo Joe funny eh, Inuk CEO, Inuk President they may be Inuk but there are not Inuk in there heart and way of life. we Nunavutmiut have not benefit from anything so far. and Wonderer I agree with you, anything QC gets into goes under, Frobuild was the only real good lumber and hardware store, went under. the store up at plateau, in fact the only store up there went under.

#6. Posted by eskimo joe on May 03, 2018

#5 what is this, inuit have no rights to business savvy? i rather see inuk unscrupulous ceo than non-inuk anyday to rip-off nunavumiut out of $$$, what is wrong with us, is this gimme gimme gimme society? come on inuit join the rest of the world, operate businesses as if there’s no tomorrow. stop being muppets to others like say from the world. way to go qc, run over anyone who’s in your way. the world has manhandle nunavut long enough.

#7. Posted by Support Your Birthright on May 04, 2018

This project is about due for Inuit.  It’s ambitious and may be risky, but the potential is there. Low income housing, an arts centre, a conference centre(Yay- no more yucky Frob.Inn) These are needed by Inuit, for Inuit.

Inuit can have their say by speaking directly to the organizations involved, they can on any issue.

I hope that Arctic College will step up and start a Hospitality Program, for the Inuit jobs that will be created.

#8. Posted by Traffic System on May 04, 2018

I really hope they put in better traffic management at that intersection then. Road to Apex is already a clogged-up mess during rush hour - adding a 600 person hotel and conference next to the hospital, boarding house, and Frobisher Inn and only having a single stop sign to manage traffic? Yikes!

#9. Posted by Frank on May 04, 2018

When you look at all the business that QC is involved in you will see most of them are doing very well. I think for some people having a a few that did not work out for QC you focus on that too much. For the most part QC is doing very well.

I also agree that money stays in Nunavut with QC unlike the companies owned by someone from outside Nunavut with a token Inuk as the head.

#10. Posted by Give me a break on May 04, 2018

QC Money Is not staying in NUNAVUT , all there 49% partner are making the money and that money if not staying here , do you think QC consultant , accountant , banking, partnership like QE , travel trip for CEO and executive , if you really think money is staying here your wrong , what about NCC D money ? you see many full time inuit employee there or rotation staff that brings there cash down south ? who will manage QC hotel a down south company ,

#11. Posted by Consumer on May 04, 2018

So big racks wanted to expand and be able to serve alcohol.
A hotel with a bar next to boarding home and no one complains.

#12. Posted by iqaluit dude on May 04, 2018

QC is run by Inuit?

Hey man, that’s news to me. All their managers and business partners, the ones who run stuff for them, they are all non-Inuit.

#1 this is why there are zero Inuit at the lands and planning committee meeting. There are zero Inuit involved in real municipal planning and development at all levels in Iqaluit.

Our Inuit organizations would rather use Nunavut Sivuniksavut to train useless drum dancers and Inuit costume models, but they have no interest in promoting professional skills like municipal planning or business development or engineering.

#13. Posted by Right on #12 on May 04, 2018

I do agree with you, and it will probably remain the same,till educated
Inuit people take over.
Might be waiting a long time.
Unfortunately so many Inuit people are set up to fail.

#14. Posted by Reader on May 04, 2018

Hey Traffic System,

If you read the article, the 600 person hotel and conference centre is being built along federal road (along the road leading to the new airport), NOT next to the boarding home. However, NCC is also planning on building a hotel and that one would be across from the boarding home.

#15. Posted by Paul Murphy on May 04, 2018

Just to clarify for the couple of people who have a problem comprehending this article.  The area where this QC property is being built is not near the hospital or the boarding home. It is on the large vacant Inuit owned land on Federal Road on the right hand side past the RCMP station.
Although there is a hotel going up across the intersection from the boarding home, it won’t be close in size to a facility this large.

#16. Posted by Jobi on May 04, 2018

QC always coming up with business ideas. Maybe they don’t all work but they are trying on behalf of Inuit. Harry, Sheldon and crew keep up the good work.

#17. Posted by QIA on May 04, 2018

At least Q!A, through its business subsidiaries is trying and this Project will meet alot of needs.

Sheldon, please hire locally, whether it is long-time Northerners or Inuit, to plan the hotel and conference centre and to run it.


#18. Posted by Piitaqanngi on May 04, 2018

I’d bet the bar would be staffed by non-Inuit. Inuit thinking they’re going to enjoy a night out at an Inuit-owned bar only to be treated as lower class by bar staff.
Granted they’ll hire Inuit once it opens but the attrition rate is so high it will be very hard to keep them.

#19. Posted by Jobi on May 06, 2018

#18. Whether Inuit or non-Inuit the choice is the people that apply for jobs. QC don’t discriminate. Not like GN (very bad) and that Iqaluit heavy equipment co with Inuit name that only hires french from Quebec. Tabarnak!

#20. Posted by Kautaq on May 07, 2018

#19 I agree, these companies that even have their own planes to fly in their crew from the south with a token Inuk as their head and a Inuk name for the company receive so much GN contracts and most of the money flies back south with their workers.
At least QC tries to hire and train Inuit, try to keep most of the money in Nunavut. The system with the GN needs to change, too many token Inuk companies that receive millions and millions each year from the GN.

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