Igloolik ‘desperate’ for proper garage to maintain new fire truck

CAO estimates $8.4M price tag for new maintenance garage

Igloolik’s chief administrative officer says the hamlet needs a new maintenance garage to work on emergency vehicles, including a new fire truck that could arrive by sealift this summer. (Photo courtesy of Julian Blow)

By Madalyn Howitt

A new fire truck may soon be on its way to Igloolik, but there isn’t a proper maintenance garage there to work on it or on the hamlet’s other emergency and service vehicles.

“It’s just a really bad situation,” said Greg Morash, the hamlet’s chief administrative officer.

The fire truck is scheduled to arrive on the sealift, later this year.

Morash said Igloolik is in “desperate” need of a new maintenance garage, to provide a climate-controlled place to service all its heavy equipment and emergency vehicles.

He said he’s been seeking funding for a new maintenance garage since 2017, and estimates it would cost $8.4 million, factoring in rising construction costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hamlet is currently using an old parking garage to service its vehicles, but the building is missing proper amenities and a concrete floor, and has difficulty maintaining heat in winter.

Inuit Child First, Indigenous Services Canada

Morash said Igloolik has even received funding to create an evacuation plan, in case it is unable to provide snow clearing, water services, sewage services, or fire services because of vehicle breakdowns.

He said he’s pitched ideas to the Department of Community and Government Services, such as buying a pre-built garage from a manufacturer.

He also said he travelled to Iqaluit last year to discuss funding options with banks, but so far nothing has come together.

“We’re caught in a catch-22 here,” Morash said. “We have a truck seizing up every day, which affects our municipal services, which affects the health of the people.

“I get frustrated, to put it that way mildly.”

He said there is another possibility, although nothing is set in stone: The hamlet could seek federal funding to build a new maintenance garage.

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Earlier this year, Nunavut MP Lori Idlout visited Igloolik and spoke with Morash and other hamlet councillors about the issue, and brought their concerns to the federal standing committee for Indigenous and northern affairs in June.

“There is definitely an urgency to the timeline,” said Idlout. “The materials for the warehouse need to come in the same summer as the fire truck.”


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(9) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    typical Government Procurement.

    Here is a nice shiny new vehicle, emergency vehicle, municipal vehicle, snowblower, loader, plow truck or compactor.

    by the way, throw the old back up one out, even if its still running cause I dunno where you are going to park this one. if any. maybe it won’t fit, your problem not ours.

    they really need to factor this in when funding these. allow for additional funding for garage space when planning the procurement. but that means way more money than just sending in the equipment.

    seem Mr Morecash is asking for more yet again.

  2. Posted by Shawn on

    The church ain’t putting out fires. New service trucks should be sent to nunavut while old service trucks are sent south to be rebuilt properly. The public housing system is *** up.

    • Posted by josywales on

      Maybe convert the building behind the fire truck (in the pic.), to a garage?

      • Posted by Holy Co-op on

        That building is a church that kindly offered it’s building to be converted into a dry goods store for the co-op. We call it the “Holy Co-op.”

  3. Posted by Seems a bit High….. on

    I would love to know how they come up with these numbers! They must be asking for a massive building for that price! You could easily build a 40×60 garage with a 12ft high door and concrete pad for less than $1 million. That would even include flying in labour assuming nobody it able to build it in the community. When will the price gouging stop! No need for a massive building like in Baker Lake that caught fire and destroyed almost all of the Hamlets equipment. Build a reasonable size workshop for a reasonable price! 8.4 million is a joke of a price.

    • Posted by Ian on

      1 million for a 40×60 garage in Nunavut, must be good pot your smoking, 1 million will barely build a 1000 sq ft house in Nunavut. Building codes by the gov. of Nunavut will stop all construction, and the politicians will say we need more money from Ottawa, normal response, and the capital money will be spent elsewhere, and not one of our politicians, understand this.

      • Posted by Seems a bit High….. on

        Building code has nothing to do with “Nunavut Price Tag”. Its the governments willingness to overpay for everything, and over engineer. If the Hamlet of Igloolik took an off the shelf pre-engineered steel building a million dollars is possible for a 40×60 with concrete pad. But CGS will probably higher someone to do a feasibility study = $150k, then they will have an engineering firm over design something for them = $250k and then go out to tender on this ludicrous design with more expensive materials and features the building does not need that will come in at $6million with almost no inuit labour. Then they will make changes mid way thru “cha ching” to the tune of another $2 million in engineering, air freight, and lost time.

        But hey it must be the over priced pot I don’t smoke…….

        • Posted by Dave on

          I asked a family member who does commercial lending in Alberta, just shy of the NWT border.

          $175/sq ft for a shop like this.

          You could fly the whole Alberta crew up, have them build it. Give each crew member a $500k bonus and still save a couple of million.

  4. Posted by Aputi on

    Phase two would have helped but bye bye l


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