Clyde River council to discuss declaring state of emergency, says CAO

Community has run out of diesel fuel and its snow clearing machines aren’t working

In Clyde River, seen in this file photo, over the last month, essential services such as water delivery and sewage removal have been delayed because the hamlet has faced several blizzards with only one snow clearing vehicle in working condition. (File photo)

By David Lochead

Clyde River hamlet councillors were poised to discuss Thursday whether to declare a state of emergency, says chief administrative officer Jerry Natanine.

A series of blizzards over the past month has raised havoc for the hamlet because only one of their loaders for snow removal is currently working, Natanine said. Usually the hamlet has two loaders and one bulldozer to help clear snow, he said.

As a result, hamlet vehicles for key services such as water delivery and sewage removal are struggling to get through snow-blocked roads.

Natanine said that he has gone four or five days without water delivery, when his house would ordinarily get it every second day.

“I don’t remember when I showered last,” Natanine said.

Sewage removal for houses is taking up to two weeks, he said. Because of these long waits, approximately 60 sewage tanks have frozen, Natanine said.

One loader and the bulldozer both broke down in late November. Natanine said diesel fuel is needed to run the machines, but the hamlet is out.

Natanine said the hamlet has requested diesel fuel from the Government of Nunavut but has not yet received a response.

The Department of Community and Government Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Natanine said that the hamlet has running its heavy equipment with a kind of aviation fuel, called Jet A. Several weeks ago, a technician from Caterpillar examined the machines and said the fuel has too much sulphur, Natanine said.

Cold weather aggravates the problem of using Jet A fuel, which is why two of the heavy vehicles broke in late November, he added.

The problem makes sense, since Clyde River’s heavy machines are all relatively new but have had problems consistently, Natanine said.

All of the challenges caused by a lack of snow removal in Clyde River over the last month has worn on the patience of residents, he said.

“We’ve all been very upset,” Natanine said.

The hamlet council was scheduled to consider declaring a state of emergency in the hope of improving the likelihood of receiving diesel fuel or having older equipment flown into Clyde River that can run on Jet A fuel, he said.

As things stand, if another blizzard hits, there will be no way for the hamlet to fulfill its other obligations, such as the emergency fire service, Natanine said.

“It’s long overdue.”

Share This Story

(33) Comments:

  1. Posted by MIA on

    GN, missing in action.

    • Posted by Name withheld on

      We need Joe savikataaq back

  2. Posted by Just do on

    Sounds pretty bad, I’m not sure what there is to discuss. It sounds like they should have declared an emergency already.

  3. Posted by Iqaluit resident on

    You know if this happened in Iqaluit, it would have already been addressed.
    This has been on going since when?
    Where’s there free water? Are they going back to honey buckets while they wait.
    They need help, where’s the army. They came to Iqaluit to help, they can go help there

    • Posted by The Process on

      Territory needs to make the request first.

  4. Posted by Sam on

    Two things.
    This is terrible and the GN is nowhere to be seen, during a pandemic where hand washing has been one of the most consistent CPHO messages.
    Also, if the SAO had not focused so much energy and support for the Mary River blockade I wonder if Baffinland wouldn’t help them out.

  5. Posted by Why did they run out? on

    Why did Clyde run out of Diesel? I assume they get the yearly fuel shipment like every other community. Did they not order enough fuel to get them through the year?

    Yes, blame the GN for not helping them now. But why isn’t Clyde getting any blame for PUTTING their people in this situation?

    • Posted by Monica on

      What is wrong with you reporters? The question that needs to be answered: WHY DID CLYDE RIVER RUN OUT OF DIESEL FUEL? The most-basic piece of this puzzle.

      And, incidentally, Jet A will work in a diesel engine just fine.

    • Posted by Administrative Incompetence on

      This is what I was wondering too. It sounds like administrative incompetence is a good part of this.

    • Posted by Thank you on

      I was hoping there to be some clarification in this article regarding the causal “first domino that tipped”, but nothing more than a casual “Natanine said diesel fuel is needed to run the machines, but the hamlet is out”. If they ran out of fuel 6 months after their diesel delivery, there is a big problem. Bringing in tens of thousands of gallons of diesel by plane or helicopter is not an easy feat.

      Someone needs to be held accountable: Either PPD did not provide them with the right amount, someone is stealing fuel, or there was a fuel spill that the Hamlet is being mum about (would not be the first time).

      • Posted by Joe blow on

        What I understood we got shorted and they give us jet a instead but what ever the problem you have a couple of hundred family’s here with no water no roads and no fire services PLEASE HELP SOON

    • Posted by No Diesel Shipment? on

      This is the question that is burning in my mind, and I don’t know why this isn’t addressed more in the article. Run out of diesel in July/August? Sure, maybe somebody made a bit of a mistake in their forecasting. But you have no diesel in November? Maybe even October? The ships have barely even left the town by then. What happened? What are they going to do about not having diesel for the rest of the 6 or 7 months until barges come in? If they’re using Jet A for their heavy equipment, are they going to have enough of that to last? Planes need that fuel.

    • Posted by Beleaver on

      PPD controls how much diesel, gas, etc. goes in each community in Nunavut. Contractors have no decision on it. GN buys diesel, gas, fuel at a fixed rate and should not increase prices when rest of Canada increases because it was already bought at a price. PPD did not add enough diesel and this is the result of no diesel in the community. Ask any contractor!

  6. Posted by whatever on

    This does not smell right, pardon the pun lol. I bet there is a whole other story here.

  7. Posted by pissed off on

    If it wasn`t so sad for the Clyde River people it would be laughable !!!!

    How can a community run out of diesel fuel ?
    It looks like it never happened before so the tanks are sufficient for a whole year and more. Have they not get fuel last summer ? Is one of the tanks out of commision therefore reducing the annual capacity ?
    What is going on with Community and Government services Dept. ? How about the POL Dept?

    How can they let these sttuations happen ? How come nobody has got a grip and got mechanics out there and fix those vital pieces of equipment.

    Good at buying big toys, not good at keeping them running !!!

    What a goon show.

  8. Posted by What’s going on on

    Everything is falling apart. School is bad. No water. No cleared roads.

  9. Posted by Always have a plan B ready to go on

    Sounds like the hamlets get themselves into terrible situations from mismanagement, and then declare “emergencies” so that someone else will bail them out. They then don’t learn from the experience and the same thing happens over and over. In fact, they learn not to prevent issues as it’s easier and more comfortable to keep letting things slide and then let territorial or federal government resolve the “emergency”.

    • Posted by Clyde Proud on

      Judge much? Clyde River has been hit hard with six to eight blizzards in two weeks. The plow operators, water and sewer truck drivers and their assistants have been working around the clock to get the work done. They have no control over weather and, let’s face it, sometimes things go wrong all at the same time. Instead of judging, try offering some sound advice on how to fix the immediate problems.

      • Posted by Totem pole. on

        Plow operators as well as water and sewer operators are low on the totem pole of authority. These are not the individuals that are being judged.

        These are the people that hold this crap together with whatever they can find. We know they are the ones that keep these communities going and alive. Only a damn fool would curse or blame their water delivery driver in times like these.

        It’s the administrators that force your and our workers to perform under these less than ideal conditions that are to blame and need to be held accountable.

        Periodically we like to toss our water and sewer guys cokes. We appreciate their hard work. Especially during these lockdowns and shortages.

    • Posted by Beleaver on

      Hamlet or PPD contractors have no control how much fuel, diesel, gas, etc. goes to the community. It’s up to CGS/PPD when GN buys fuel, gas at a fixed rate and ship it to Nunavut. GN should also not increase the price of gas, fuel because it was already bought. It was GN’s PPD who miscalculated. Ask any Fuel contractor in your community.

  10. Posted by It was a wrong call by the mechanic on

    The mechanic said its to much sulfur. Isn’t all the fuel in Nunavut pretty much the same? the testing at time of delivery should prove that. The houses must be running on the diesel they received or that would be another issue. I think with a bit of examination the problem should be identified and then the solution(s) can be sorted out. Now if the tanks are empty that’s its own matter. I really hope that this can get sorted out quickly. where is the GN?

    • Posted by Jet A Sulfur on

      The mechanic didn’t say the diesel had too much sulfur, the mechanic said that the Jet A fuel has too much sulfur to run in diesel machines and that’s why they broke down.
      I’m not a mechanic, so I can’t speak to that, but reading comprehension I can do.

  11. Posted by Lawyer or Engineer on

    Sounds like th GN needs another Law School… NOT.
    How about an Engineering program in Nunavut.
    Every community in Nunavut needs a residennt engineer – someone to take responsibility for the operation and maintenance of the power plant, the fuel system, the water system, the waste water system and the heavy equipment that the community depends on.
    Or maybe a lawyer, to sue someone after things have gone wrong.

    • Posted by Clean drinking water fallacy on

      Easier said than done. These programs are available in Rankin, they have a trades school. Don’t you think they would graduate enough people to fill positions in all Hamlets across Nunavut?

      When water plants are installed in remote First Nations in the south, they usually train a local to do basic maintenance and upkeep. After a few weeks or months of work, the usual “not showing up today” or “daycares closed” excuses start happening and then the plant falls into a state of disrepair, and then the Band decides to blame the federal govt once it has been neglected for months, is all broken and expects them to in and send emergency help.

      But even then, at least they’re not putting jet fuel into diesel engines.

  12. Posted by Consistency on

    Nunatsiaq needs to do more research.
    All buildings and Power plant are also run on diesel, so is diesel really out or is there something more specific that is the issue? if it is really no more diesel how much diesel is normally brought into the community each year and how much was brought in last year. who is responsible to order diesel if less what ordered?
    did someone in the community need to approve how much diesel is purchased and did they not respond to the request?

  13. Posted by Think About It on

    Jet A is NOT the same as diesel. Diesel has a lubricant added, Jet A will work in an emergency but prolonged use will burn out injectors and such.
    The GN has a whole branch of people tasked with helping with community operations, and the Hamlets have a responsibility to know what is happening in their own backyard.
    Seems everyone dropped the ball, so someone needs to be the bigger person and just roll up their sleeves and start. But in true fashion, everyone is more concerned about what is being denied them instead of working for the people that they serve.

  14. Posted by Grank lee on

    The sao is responsible for all petroleum products ordered for the entire year for the community because of shipping , where did all his go wrong in the first place ? Sounds like no one experienced , to have a heavy equipment maintenance planner is essential for maintaining a fleet in each community. Why did they not have enough diesel for their equipment is beyond ones mind from what is written as they like every community should have had a resupply of everything for the following year .

    • Posted by SAO on

      If this was indeed the SAO’s fault, he needs to be held accountable. If this was a result of poor calculations or even lack of communication, this will likely cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions to fix.

      I would like to know more about their SAO/former mayor. Generally, an SAO should have an extensive background in finance, project management, an MBA, or something of the like that. He seems like a nice man and very passionate about his Hamlet, but I can’t help but question how fit he is for his current role. This man’s portfolio is filled with Inuk activism and fighting the mines, but what credentials does he have to manage an entire Hamlet?

    • Posted by Beleaver on

      GN buys fuel, gas, diesel and have it shipped to all Nunavut communities. PPD contractors have no say in it and Hamlet’s have no control over it. It’s up to GN’s PPD how much fuel is delivered to each community in Nunavut. GN should also not increase fuel because it was bought at a fixed rate.

  15. Posted by Old timer on

    Hey girls he don’t no when he last took a shower.?

  16. Posted by aputi on

    We never even heard from our so called premier

  17. Posted by Mismanagement on

    This has been a long standing problem for this community, years. The major problem is the lack of leadership and the mismanagement at the hamlet that let their heavy equipment get run done and not maintained properly on top of that the disorganized management and tracking their fuel level for the community.
    A SAO that over his head and a mayor and council that chooses to continue having him as SAO.
    GN needs to step in and take control, the runway and roads need to be cleared.

  18. Posted by Jinglehymersmith on

    Save the Jet-A for the aircraft to burn hauling diesel for the community
    Bargain with Baffinland , they have everything to get Clyde back on the roads .
    God bless the people of Clyde.


Comments are closed.