GN isn’t pulling weight: City


The Government of Nunavut isn’t paying its fair share for search and rescue, building inspections and emergency dispatch services, according to City of Iqaluit councilors.

“All these services are outside, basically, our jurisdiction,” said deputy mayor Glenn Williams, during budget discussions last week. “It’s not our responsibility to pay for it, or fund it.”

The city spent over $20,000 last year on search and rescue, which hasn’t yet been reimbursed by the GN. The city plans to meet with government officials on Jan. 24 to discuss where responsibilities fall.

“No one seems to want to take responsibility for paying for it,” said Ian Fremantle, the city’s chief administrative officer.

Williams also questioned whether the city’s emergency dispatch should be funded entirely by ratepayers, which hires six people at $90,000 a year. Williams suggested the service could be merged with the RCMP’s dispatch office to save costs.

“We do have to take a good hard look at this. We have to think about where taxpayers’ money is going.”

Similar negotiations happened a year and a half ago, councilors heard, but without any progress. Still, other councilors agreed the idea should be revisited.

“This has never been a cost effective operation, and it’s at the ratepayer’s expense,” said Coun. Nancy Gillis.

And while the city has a new building bylaw, they don’t have an inspector to enforce it.

“There’s no accountability on behalf of the developer, because there’s no one to enforce it,” Fremantle said.

The Government of Nunavut provides building inspections for the hamlets of Nunavut. Iqaluit councillors said they need similar assistance.

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