GN restoring services in Gjoa Haven after fire destroys telecommunications hub

Hamlet continues investigation into Saturday blaze, fire chief says

An aerial photo of Gjoa Haven on Monday shows what’s left of the NCC building, a Government of Nunavut telecommunications hub and office, that was destroyed by fire Saturday. (Photo by Richard Dwyer)

By Meral Jamal

The Government of Nunavut began working on a plan to restore some of its services in Gjoa Haven after a fire destroyed the government’s telecommunications hub for the hamlet on Saturday.

The NCC building housed the main fibre connection, workstations, community data centre, servers, and hosting services for the community such as telephone and video conferencing, the GN said in a press release on Monday. 

Minister of Community and Government Services David Joanasie said the building also served as office space for employees of several government departments.

According to hamlet fire Chief Hector Nargyak, services provided in the building included motor vehicle licensing and legal services.

The issuing of driver’s licences, general identification cards and driver’s tests and other in-person vehicle-related services have been suspended, according to a government update on how the fire affected the delivery of services.

Gjoa Haven’s community care centre is unaffected but might experience some delays while some communications lines are not available, according to the Health Department’s update.

Legal operations are expected to continue “without disruption,” the Justice Department said.

The Quqshuun Ilihakvik school and the Qiqirtaq High School will operate with “little to no changes in operations,” according to the Education Department’s update.

No injuries have been reported so far and Nargyak said the next steps for the hamlet include continuing the investigation into the cause of the fire with help from assistant fire marshal Josh Doyle. 

The investigation may take more than a week to be completed, Nargyak added. 

A response plan is underway and includes an assessment of all internal and external impacts of the fire.

For employees working in the building, the GN said work-from-home measures will be implemented for affected staff where possible. 

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(4) Comments:

  1. Posted by And A Pony! on

    I hope those lucky enough to be able to work from home do the right thing, set a good example of work ethics and put in the effort to make it work. That way if and when other employees need to do work from home they can. Nothing major, just 5% more drivers license renewals than usual. Don’t want to make the rest of the hams look bad.

    • Posted by Ya right on

      I have been in that office. Huge building, maybe 3 people working. Do you think that those non- working individuals will just randomly start working because the building burned down?

      We all know work from home in nunavut doesn’t work. Barely any internet, barely any oversight, and no remote desktop connections to work computers.

      • Posted by And A Pony! on

        Just trying to be positive. The few southern friends I have with jobs that fully transitioned to work from home saw marked improvements in mental health and a huge boost to family time since communiting (common down south) is cut to zero!

  2. Posted by Cathy on

    my daughter needs her General Identification, we had gotten it done about 3 weeks ago, 2 weeks before the fire in Gjoa Haven, any word on where we would go now to get this done? I emailed but no response, any help in figuring out where to go would be greatly appreciated.

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