Arlooktoo delays Keewatin resupply decision


IQALUIT The NWT’s public works minister, Goo Arlooktoo, issued a statement this week saying he won’t announce a decision on the fate of his government’s Keewatin marine resupply proposal until Nov. 28.

Hostile Keewatin residents in Baker Lake, Arviat and Rankin Inlet urged Arlooktoo to delay the project earlier this month at meetings in those communities.

Under the GNWT’s current proposal, pipelines would be installed in four Keewatin communities to facilitate the direct delivery of fuel products from Montreal via ocean-going tankers.

A long list of organizations and individuals have arisen to oppose the plan, including the Nunasi Corporation, the Northern Transportation Company Limited, the Kivalliq Inuit Association, Nunavut Tunngavik, the Keewatin Chamber of Commerce, and most Keewatin hamlet councils.

But in his November 18 statement, Arlooktoo suggested that the GNWT may still go ahead with the plan.

“We cannot afford to lose the opportunity to make improvements in the transportation system which could have very positive effects on the cost of power and air transportation, along with corresponding reductions in the cost of home heating fuel,” Arlooktoo said.

Arlooktoo also said fuel consumers are now subsidizing what he called the high cost of fuel delivery in the Keewatin.

In an interview last week, Arlooktoo said he wants to ask NTCL whose barges now supply the Keewatin region to find ways of lowering the cost of their service hinting that if they can, he may delay the project until after division of the NWT in 1999.

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