'It's just one step in the process of building better harbours in Nunavut.'
GN to spend $1.8 million on community docks
The government of Nunavut will spend more than $1.8 million on small floating docks in 11 communities this summer, Nunatsiaq News has learned.
The Department of Economic Development and Transportation is funding construction of docks in Whale Cove, Kugaaruk, Taloyoak, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay, Hall Beach, Resolute Bay, Repulse Bay, Cambridge Bay, Baker Lake and Kugluktuk.
"It's based on providing more facilities in the communities to help traditional hunters and boaters to have a safe place to load and unload their vessels," said Alan Johnson, the department's manager of transportation planning.
The docks, made of steel tubing with a solid timber deck, will be anchored to concrete blocks on shore and will float up and down with the tide, Matthew Illaszewicz, a spokesman for The Department of Economic Development and Transportation, said in an email.
The docks can carry a load of up to 6,500 kilograms. They'll be tough enough for all-terrain vehicles to drive on, Johnson said.
The docks are not the kind of full-feature small craft harbour the GN is still seeking for six Nunavut communities.
In 2005, a joint report published by the GN and Fisheries and Oceans Canada recommended Pangnirtung, Clyde River, Qikiqtarjuaq, Pond Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet, Repulse Bay and Kugaaruk get such harbours.
In the last federal budget in February, Ottawa announced $8 million for a harbour in Pangnirtung, but nothing for any other community.
The senate's standing committee on fisheries and oceans recently backed the GN's call for more federal money to build ports and harbours in Nunavut.
Johnson said these docks aren't meant to replace the small craft harbours.
"It enhances their current marine facilities," he said. "It's just one step in the process of building better harbours in Nunavut."
Clayton Croucher, Whale Cove's senior administrative officer, said the floating dock should make it easier for fishermen to unload their catches for the small local fish plant.
"Hopefully it's going to make it easier for the fishermen to take their catch off and load their materials and gas and things back on," he said.
Johnson said money for the floating docks was granted based on applications from each community, mostly to the Small Community Infrastructure Fund for non-decentralized hamlets. The docks in Kugluktuk, Baker Lake and Cambridge Bay are funded by a separate pot of infrastructure money.
Johnson said the GN would also equip 14 communities, including Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet and Cambridge Bay, with small cranes that can lift loads of up to one metric tonne. The cranes cost about $6,000 each.
And the GN and Fisheries and Oceans Canada will install new moorages for oil tankers in Baffin and Kivalliq communities this summer, though Johnson couldn't provide specifics because the project hinges on DFO funding.