Buildings planned for stricken community
IQALUIT — Bureaucrats from Quebec City descended on Kangiqsualujjuaq last week to discuss building relocation and reconstruction projects scheduled for the summer.
Following the New Year’s Eve avalanche that killed nine people and damaged the community’s school, avalanche experts recommended establishing a 100-metre exclusion zone at the base of the avalanche-prone slope.
This means that 25 houses and buildings will be moved from the foot of the mountain and roads and service will be brought to new residential areas. Twenty per cent of the community’s buildings will be relocated or rebuilt this summer.
“It’s a big operation,” Fernand Roy from Quebec’s native affairs secretariat said. “We have to manage many projects at the same time.”
Crews are going to tear down the damaged Satuumavik School, while the new school’s foundation is laid. A daycare centre is also in the works, as are renovations to the airport terminal and runways. The local co-op is building a new store.
Construction is also starting on the new dock infrastructure for the community that includes a new beach access ramp, access road and two breakwaters.
This project, part of a $30-million maritime transportation program, will be officially kicked off on June 25 when federal Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Jane Stewart, visits the community.
At a recent public meeting residents learned more about relocation plans and how to apply for compensation.
They also looked at how the exclusion zone will be used and monitored in the future. Roy said that the construction of a barrier near the site of the 1999 New Year’s avalanche, similar to that recommended by avalanche expert Bruce Jamieson, is under consideration.