Iqaluit needs help with contaminated site clean-ups


This letter is to all federal and territorial ministers with responsibility for contaminated sites.

As a belated Christmas present to the City of Iqaluit, would you kind folks assist in helping clean up the remaining contaminated sites in and around the territorial capital.

I’ve noticed Iqaluit’s Upper Base, once a military installation, was cleaned up in the mid -990s, Gone are the contaminated soil, buildings, radio dishes and garbage that were littering the site.

The federal and territorial governments could take the initiative to clean up Iqaluit’s six remaining contaminated sites (see attached map):

1. North 40
2. Sylvia Grinnell Park dump site
3. West 40/Summer Camp
4. Current Municipal Landfill
5. Old Municipal Landfill or “Honeybag Hill”
6. Apex Dump

Contaminated sites, such as the one by Sylvia Grinnell, take away from the pristine, natural beauty of the landscape. Those sites, remnants of the early days of the city, are an eyesore and pose a hazard to both the environment and people’s health.

The contaminated sites pose a toxic threat to aquatic life, plants and berries surrounding the landscape, berries many people eat when ripe. Inuit have always lived in harmony with the land and animals. The contaminated sites are a threat to that way of life.

The clean up would create jobs and beautify the city. Nine years of hard work resulted in the clean up of Resolution Island, one of the most badly contaminated sites in the Arctic. Iqaluit still has the workforce and expertise to clean up the remaining contaminated sites.

Iqaluit is rapidly growing. As the capital of Nunavut and gateway to the Arctic, it is important visitors flying into the territory experience the natural, raw beauty of the landscape.

Driving from the airport to the hotel, the view should not be discarded metal and rusty old drums littering creeks and the land. It should be flowers and plants.

Seeing such garbage littering the land surely disgusts visitors and does not give a good first impression of the Arctic.

Before the municipal election, I committed myself to the voters that I would lobby the different levels of governments to clean up Iqaluit. I am hoping this letter will at least get the process started.

The City of Iqaluit is also committed to doing its part, helping facilitate the process and cleaning up the garbage littering its streets.

Terry Dobbin
Iqaluit City Councillor

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