Imagine a road connecting Arviat to Baker Lake: The GN is studying it

Project would connect 5 Kivalliq communities by all-season road

Community consultations are beginning for a study that would build all-season roads between Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove, Arviat, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake. Economic Development and Transportation Minister David Akeeagok gave an update on the project on March 8. (File photo)

By David Lochead

Nunavut could get its first all-season road between communities.

The Department of Economic Development and Transportation is looking into the potential of building roads to connect Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Rankin Inlet, Whale Cover and Arviat.

Economic Development and Transportation Minister David Akeeagok gave an update on the potential project March 8 in the legislative assembly.

“It’s a huge opportunity,” Akeeagok told Nunatsiaq News.

The Kivalliq Intercommunity Road Study will determine if building the estimated 350-kilometre road would be feasible and worthwhile. It will provide a cost estimate, an overview of what the regulatory process would look like and what people in the communities think of a project like this.

Akeeagok said he hopes the money to pay for the road will come from the federal government’s National Trade Corridors Fund.

Nunami Stantec Ltd. began work on the study last year and community consultations will begin soon and be carried out through the summer.

Akeeagok called the road a “good project,” adding it would allow families in the a connected communities to meet more often.

Also, connecting roads would be helpful on the business side as more cargo could be moved by land, Akeeagok said.

Joe Savikataaq, MLA for Arviat-South, said in the legislature March 10 he was surprised to learn that more work is needed before it can be determined whether the roads project is worth the investment.

He said the dependence on expensive flights to reach communities shows the need to fund a project that would connect them by road.

“We want to help Nunavummiut travel freely, with the least amount of costs,” Savikataaq said.

The study was initially announced in 2019 but was delayed and is finally being completed now, Akeeagok said.

He said he expects to receive a report on its findings by the end of 2023. So far, no estimate of cost or a timeline to build the roads has been released.

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(29) Comments:

  1. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    wow the yearly maintenance of road, the heavy equipment, i could not begin to guess, more chances for delays, breakdowns, loss cargo out on the tundra, its good to have ideas and also good to see the potential problems, how much is the this, study, costing?

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    • Posted by I live in the Arctic on

      * yearly cost maintenance of road, the heavy equipment*

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    • Posted by Devil’s Avocado on

      Stop the study! Someone identified a potential problem.

      Like the old saying goes: “If at first you identify a potential problem, don’t bother trying to do that anymore.”

      I guess it’s back to the ol’ drawing board. Hopefully someone can come up with an idea that doesn’t have any potential problems.

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      • Posted by I live in the Arctic on

        thank you.

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  2. Posted by tuktuborel on

    Of course we need roads built in Nunavut. This should be a no brainer. Russia has built road systems in their north and has had them for years.
    Nunavut has to move ahead and a road system is a requirement. Taking into consideration sensitive areas lets get it done.

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  3. Posted by 867 on

    Should connect with Churchill too so goods can be brought up on the train. Seems like a No Brainer

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    • Posted by Sam on

      CHURCHIll, will never have a road, to Arviat, too many First Nations lands to cross, they will never let it happen without conditions ,
      Build the road from Arviat to points north sask.

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  4. Posted by Reality is on

    This isn’t really meant to cater to the public. It is meant to be used by the mining industry.

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    • Posted by Uhh on

      It would absolutely cater to the public. Places like whale cove and Chester would no longer need airports and could just fly in and out of rankin. Same goes for goods coming into the communities.

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      • Posted by Name withheld on

        Posted by Uhh on Mar 13, 2023
        It would absolutely cater to the public. Places like whale cove and Chester would no longer need airports and could just fly in and out of rankin. Same goes for goods coming into the communities.

        While we are doing that, why don’t we make Arviat hub within the Kivalliq Region since the population is larger than Rankin Inlet? -Go Figure!!

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    • Posted by Sam on

      Reality, anti mining attitude, it’s the tourism potential that will bring millions into Nunavut, fishing lodges, caribou hunting , naturalists, bird watching.camping, happy now.

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  5. Posted by Think About It on

    Imagine taking this money and improving housing/mental health/public infrastructure, whatever, but studying this is a waste of money. If roads cost more then a million dollars a km to construct, just the Capital costs with be close to 1/2 a billion. Maybe study this when we have all of our other infrastructure needs met.

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  6. Posted by concerned on

    It will be interesting to see how much attention gets paid to the evidence that roads have huge impacts on caribou.

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    • Posted by Oh? on

      Ya. All those roads on baffin Island really did a number on their caribou population

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    • Posted by Sergeant Prickles on

      The biggest thing they do is they let people drive down them and shoot caribou from the side of the road.

      Are you saying Inuit shouldn’t be allowed to hunt caribou?

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      • Posted by 867 on

        It’s illegal to discharge a firearm within 1 mile of a public road, inuk or not.

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        • Posted by Quibbler in Residence on

          1. Citation needed… the Wildlife Act seems to prohibit shooting from, along or across a road, and also within 1km of a building, but that’s it.
          2. When you say “mile” do you mean 1.6 kilometres, or do you mean 1 kilometre?
          3. How well is that rule currently observed, say in Rankin Inlet? (or NWT?)

          • Posted by Rules Seem Clear on

            The fact that it isn’t observed is the issue I’d say. I’ve found nothing on mile or KM, but there is this from the 2022/2023 rules:

            No one shall hunt wildlife without due regard for the safety of other people and
            property. No person shall hunt from, or discharge a firearm from, a motorized
            vehicle (not including a snowmobile, boat or ATV). No person shall have in or on a
            vehicle a firearm which has any propellant powder, projectile or cartridge that can
            be discharged from the firearm, whether in the breech, firing chamber, or in a
            cartridge magazine attached to or inserted into the firearm.

            No one shall discharge a firearm from, along or across a public road, trail, road or
            highway.

            Seems pretty clear that shooting from a car/truck or getting out of your car/truck and shooting from the road, or carrying a rifle loaded or ready to be easily loaded, is a no-no in NU.

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            • Posted by Sergeant Prickles on

              “from, along or across a public road, trail, road or highway”

              I don’t see how that would prohibit walking a couple hundred metres from the roadside and firing from there, as long as you weren’t firing across the roadway.

  7. Posted by Frank on

    I’m old enough to remember John Diefenbaker’s “Roads to Resources” program, which included many miles of roads in what is today’s Nunavut. It was studied to death and, apart from the Dempster Highway, completed 40-years later, nothing much came of those dreams. I’m confident that nothing will come of this either, at least not for another century or so.

    Canada is a country that always fails to get its act together. We are a weak country that can’t even build a road system in its north, let alone protect the north country militarily. We will pay a price for that neglect, probably sooner than most people realize.

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  8. Posted by Andre on

    Man of all nation,city and race,learn from the inaction of other andfail,also learn from success of other government. Dear politic and people planiners, check this out,I remember the Quebec government years ago use plan on a possible high speed train,all they keept doing instead was a thing call,a study of disability that cost lost and achieve nothing,they kept doing that study that cost us tax payer lots and achieve nothing. In other place like danemark or sweeten they build tunnels for car and train in the frozen ground,all I’m saying inuk,i just wanna help,and if a man wants build something he really can,just put all your effort in it its worth it at then end after benefiting of the result I mean,cheers

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  9. Posted by Confused on

    Won’t happen it’s only in their imagination.

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  10. Posted by Badger on

    While I would love to see the build a road that would connect all the way south via Churchill, as it would likely reduce food costs in those communist, however like another comment says all the nations along the route would want special compensation, and I see Calm Air fighting it hard because if goods could be trucked year round to arviat and Rankin Inlet that would cut into their business.

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  11. Posted by eskimo joe on

    There is no point of a regional road if it’s not connected to southern Canada, I think Agnico Eagle needs a road more than any Inuk in the Kivalliq, their next need? deep water port in Rankin Inlet? I also think they have acquired a new land from private prospector not long ago, more gold?

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  12. Posted by Old farts on

    Will believe it when we see it ?never will happen.

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  13. Posted by Inung on

    Govt. Should work on their own ways. In their own businesses and people. When public seeks it, when they speak out for it listen to the public.

  14. Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

    Simple economics and demographics mean that this road will never get built. Nunavut does not have the population or the economic base to make a business case for building this road system. All of the expensive maintenance for the occasional truck or car motoring through just doesn’t make sense in any cost/benefit analysis.

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  15. Posted by Judas Henry on

    What a stupid idea.
    Can we please fold GN and hand the reins back to Yellowknife and the Feds?

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Comments are closed.