Feds announce $40M for deep-sea port

Another $2 million is earmarked for waste water management, said federal minister Catherine McKenna

Infrastructure and communities minister Catherine McKenna announced Wednesday that the federal government is investing $40 million for a deep-sea port near Qikiqtarjuaq. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The federal government has committed more than $42 million to water and fishing services in Nunavut, which some politicians say will give the territory more autonomy over its fisheries.

Federal infrastructure and communities Minister Catherine McKenna made the announcement at Nunavut Arctic College Wednesday.

The bulk of the investment — $40 million — is allocated to building a deep-sea port in Qikiqtarjuaq, which has been a long time coming for the community.

“The Qikiqtarjuaq port has been one of our proposals that we keep coming back [to],” said Nunavut deputy Premier David Akeeagok. “Finally we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of seeing our fish landing in Nunavut.”

Among other benefits, the port will allow fishers to offload their shrimp and turbot catches locally, rather than having to travel to Newfoundland and Labrador, support search and rescue, and create fisheries-related industries and jobs, said Qikiqtani Inuit Association president P.J. Akeeagok.

“We have come closer to realizing the vision of Nunavut thriving on the sustainable, blue economy,” he said.

It could still be up to six years before the port is built, said David Akeeagok, as the government’s proposal requested the money start arriving in the territorial bank account during the next fiscal year, and for it to be built within the five years afterwards.

McKenna also said the federal government will spend $1.8 million on water treatment plants in Arctic Bay, Grise Fiord, Pond Inlet and Sanikiluaq, and $225,000 for upgrades to Rankin Inlet’s waste water treatment plant.

“These agreements of past Inuit leaders from the High Arctic: to protect the pristine waters and the marine life of Tallurutiup Imanga,” P.J. Akeeagok said.

The announcement comes as rumours of a snap federal election continue to loom.

Although, McKenna said the money and the visits from three ministers to the territory’s capital in the last week isn’t about pre-election campaigning. None of the main political parties, including the Liberals, has announced its candidate for the next election.

“It’s not about elections, it’s about improving lives for people,” she said, mentioning the Liberal government’s first funding announcement this week of $10 million for the creation of affordable housing units.

In the 2021 federal budget, the Liberals set aside $4.3 billion over four years for the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Fund, accessible by First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation.

There is also another $1.7 billion available over five years to cover maintenance and operational costs of the projects built.

When asked if the money had been previously announced, McKenna said “I believe this is all new money that has been allocated.”

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Follow through? on

    It would be interesting and useful if Nunatsiaq, or some other source could track the progress and follow up of the government on its election promises. As I am sure many of us have noticed, the Liberals have been extremely generous in their commitments around election time, but have they followed through? I’m not sure, but it would be good information to have. Take note if you are an opponent.

  2. Posted by Thinker bells on

    Someone is not thinking correct and mentioning it will help the offload of Fish and shrimps,
    This port will need a infrastructure as massive freezer storage and man power to offload the product,
    No one to offload due to summer holidays,
    Guess another $200 to $360 million more needed for short season waste of time and funds.
    Thinker bells

    • Posted by Thinker bell on

      Well looks like more hike up from tax payers as news said Nu will pay 25% and the feds pay 75% as our Nu, Government hand outs without understanding this whole project cost take a look what is needed below,
      Major fuel tanks for refueling Major fish storage that hold 1000 tons of fish plus longer airstrip as airline will only benefit at $1. A pound shipping by cargo in winter Major groceries that can’t even have everything in there stores,
      Look at the world even greenland can only handle small amounts,
      This Government is not thinking straight,
      End of the day hope they will rethink this will not benefit at all add up all this needed will go up to billion$$$$$$$$$ waste for only few people
      And look good.

  3. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    Can you smeeeeeeeeeeeeeel what The Rock is cooking?

    has to be election time soon, that’s the only time the Liberals come up North to make some promises.

    how many broken promises do we need to stomach? doesn’t matter who is in power from the Liberals. sunny days?

    only in the Arctic during 24 hour sunlight. don’t believe what they are trying to spoon feed us every election season.

  4. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    is there a funding announcement for all their broken promises?

    Remember when Trudeau promised in 2015 to lift all Boil Water Advisories by March 2021?

    how is that going?

  5. Posted by hermann kliest on

    not to mention the high cost of shipping to southern Canada by air cargo, what or who is thinking is this? There will be only one glory; building(s) nothing else except high of transportation. Goodness man, you guys are better off at Conception Bay…..and more profits for the owners, throwing away $$$, next thing you guys will want is Canadian Navy and a base (this could the real reason for the feds to rationalize of this crazy venture). Why not? Feds once transported HA Exiles for the sake of Canada’s claim to the Arctic. No sacrifice is to costly or stupid eh?

  6. Posted by Northern guy on

    You need much more than deep see port to offload,you need millions of litres of bunker fuel,you need huge freezing storage,you need quality food to restock the ships,you need customs,bigger hotels,could go on,and on

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