Iqaluit deepsea port work delayed, won’t open until 2023

Port was expected to be operational by the fall but management plan isn’t ready yet

The opening of Iqaluit’s deepsea port will be pushed to next year in order to properly implement a management plan, Minister of Economic Development and Transportation David Akeeagok said. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Lochead

The opening of Iqaluit’s deepsea port will be delayed until 2023 because there hasn’t been enough time to implement a management plan, says Minister of Economic Development and Transportation David Akeeagok.

During question period June 8, Akeeagok was asked by Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes about progress on the port’s management plan.

At the time, Akeeagok said the consulting firm completing the plan, Advisian Worley Group, had not submitted it to the Department of Economic Development and Transportation.

That same day, Akeeagok told Nunatsiaq News his government was committed to having the 430-metre port operational by the fall.

But in an interview with Nunatsiaq News on Friday, Akeeagok said he has yet to receive the management plan and his department is realizing it will take more work than expected to implement it.

The nearly $85-million port is funded mostly through the federal government and is expected to make the sealift season more efficient.

Since the port can operate in all tides, ships will not have to wait for a specific time to dock. A new fuel line will be added as well.

The management plan will include hiring and training staff, as well as implementing equipment and safety procedures, Akeeagok said.

His department is also in discussion with the City of Iqaluit to fix up the road leading to the port, he added.

“Add those all up and operationally, it makes more sense for us to start up next year,” Akeeagok said.

The management plan is part of the overall operations plan, which is being worked on by Akeeagok’s department, he said. It includes factors such as docking fees and operating expenses.

While the work is happening slower than expected, that’s due to a lack of capacity, Akeeagok said.

“It’s no different than every other project right now,” he said.

The port itself is expected to be constructed by this fall.

But even if the operations plan is ready within the shipping season, implementing the plan during that time may interrupt the normal flow of that already occurring season, Akeeagok said.

The port is expected to be ready for the start of the 2023 shipping season, he said.


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(36) Comments:

  1. Posted by Congrats on

    He may be with government too long with beaurcrats and never fullfil land claim for Inuit.

  2. Posted by blat on

    “While the work is happening slower than expected, that’s due to a lack of capacity, Akeeagok said. ”

    What does that even mean?

    And of course it doesn’t make sense to open it this season. That’s because you waited until now to start figuring out all of the details. That’s the problem. You should have been figuring this stuff out while the building was going on, or even before. This project was expected to be finished over a year ago, so you’ve had all this extra time as a cushion to get it together, in addition to all the time you had since the project was approved.

    • Posted by Did I Miss Something? on

      Hmmm, I read it as the usual – the incredible shortage of the necessary skills in all sectors, which slows down everything. Did I miss something?

      • Posted by Chimp on

        He makes it sound like there’s simply nothing to be done about it. Hire more people then. It’s been years since this project was approved. The GN is set up set up in such a way that even just to post a position there’s about a zillion hoops and people to go through. How many people do you have to hire to write a damn report? They haven’t even managed to get so far as to figure out on paper what needs to be done.

        • Posted by Challenges Abound on

          I wish it were as simple as ‘hire more people’. The unemployment rate is generationally low and the GN has fallen very low on the desirable employer scale – hiring is a huge challenge.

          • Posted by Chimp on

            As of right now, there are exactly zero jobs posted for the Department of Economic Development and Transportation. You have a better chance of hiring people if you actually try.

    • Posted by Reader on

      That’s our leaders,they can only react and not be proactive,shame

  3. Posted by What? on

    Imagine a project is on the go for a few years and then claim that there isn’t enough time to plan how it will be operated. Oh wait, I don’t have to imagine

    • Posted by WorkHardPlayHard on

      This is outrageous,its ready to rock & roll but they say they won’t let it happen, red tape and Bureucraty in the way of progress and industrial production, what a shame.

  4. Posted by wondering on

    what happens when 2 boats arrive at same what?..still saving time?..i bet the dock can only accommodate 1 ship?? right?

    • Posted by Bemused on

      I am always amused when people go on the Internet and start demanding answers to questions they could answer for themselves using the Internet.

      The port plan is for a dock where a ship could offload directly on to shore and a brage ramp where, if there is another ship (or two) arriving at the same time, they could unload the same way they do now, only not have to wait for high tide to do it.

    • Posted by susieDaSailor on

      Let get some paper sheet and build an armada of ship made of paper and see what happen

  5. Posted by S on

    There’s competence, and incompetence, which, in Nunavut can only be described as anticompetence – un every department

  6. Posted by Port master on

    It’s really not funny or amusing anymore with how incompetent the GN is. It’s incredibly embarrassing and most of all frustrating, year after year our government can’t seem to get things done and waste so so much of our money, millions and millions each year.
    When this project was first being considered and funding being provided to build this project the operational part of this port should also have been developed, any other company or organizations when planning and proceeding on a project knows this, how can our government be so incompetent and yet anything is done about it.

    Who was the DM directors and managers at the GN that oversaw this project?

    Can we get some accountability please! How much will this cost now being delayed once again?

    • Posted by Name Withheld on

      Paul Currie, Moonie Kolola, Are whom oversee, not sure if Mr.Currie is still on though.

      The issue is they paid the consultant Worley alot of money!! Not sure why they weren’t able to provide a business plan when they had this coming since the beginning.

      Not sure why the two in Managment weren’t asked to provide feedback to Nunatsiaq News.

      • Posted by OK on

        Okay and who do these two report to? How are they able to keep their jobs if they can fumble this project so badly and costing the government more money?

    • Posted by Anguttialook on

      Response to port master…..this is the end result ..a case of blind leading the blind…incompetence was tolerated and accepted so now its ingrained in gn dna..they are good at stonewalling the public..wasting time and people’s money…thank gn hiring policy…dealing with gn is frustrating and 99.9% go away angry..well they are about to be taken to task..that includes….David akeeagok ‘s..Craig simailik and Lorne kusugak..departments….they picked on the wrong guy…I have the right to make a living…4 director ‘s I dealt with were/are either grossly inept or grossly negligent in their capacity and inability to do at least an adequate job..accountability is abhorred…stay tuned…my 3 different issues will make national media….they want my statement of claims once’s completed and registered….then the fun begins

  7. Posted by Northern Guy on

    Let’s cut the GN some slack after all they’ve only had 6 years to develop a management plan for the port (sarcasm intended).

  8. Posted by Reality on

    Not to worry.
    The Premier is your nephew, so your job is safe.

    • Posted by Oversight on

      I I do hope the staff (DM) that were responsible for this will have a review done on their performance. We can’t continue with this incompetence.

      • Posted by S on

        LOL, there isn’t anyone competent enough to do a performance review

        There’s competence, and incompetence, which, in Nunavut can only be described as anticompetence

        • Posted by Disconnected from reality on

          If you haven’t figured it out yet, performance reviews are almost entirely ‘performance’

          • Posted by popayDaSailorMan on

            Well,omg, looks like some big mess of very sticky mollasses, right ?

  9. Posted by Explain on

    Can somebody please explain to me how life is better now being separated from NWT is? It’s been approximately 20 years and these are the results so far.

    Explain it to us like we’re 5 years old.

    • Posted by It’s Isn’t on

      It’s not, hence increased chorus of “It was better when we were the NWT” from those old enough to remember.

  10. Posted by pissed off on

    I regret to write this but “Told you so!!!!“
    You can fertilise all you want a rock but it remains a rck and won`t grow.
    You can shower an incompetent government with all the money in the world , it will remain an incompetent government and won`t do the right thing and find the way to blame someone else for their miserable failings.
    Akeagok says“`ts like any other project right now “
    So being incompetent has become the normal way of operating for the GN ???


  11. Posted by Maq-Pat on

    Who cares if the port is open in the Winter?…. this seems like a non issue

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      Except that with a little planning and foresight the port could have been operational THIS YEAR.

  12. Posted by Tax payers on

    If the rest of Canada only knew about the tens of millions that are wasted through mismanagement, lack of attention to detail, zero forethought, and under-qualified and over-compensated employees that convolute and never cease to disappoint on all projects big and small, there would be quite the outcry.

    • Posted by Whatever on

      You do realize that Nunavummuit pay taxes as well. So all those road projects and so on that run over in the south, oh the shame. Nunavummuit have been paying for those projects for years.

      • Posted by What you’re missing is on

        The rest of Canada is approximately 40 million not thousand and some of those projects come in on budget and on time.

      • Posted by Understanding Cost on

        The average cost of a Nunavut resident is in excess of double the Canadian resident if not pushing triple or more now.

        Your comment is so far from reality. The reality is that the Nunavut tax payers don’t even remotely cover their own cost per resident. Its southern tax payers paying for Northern projects, not Northerns paying for southern projects. Lets get that straight. All you have to do is look up the statistics of the average cost per resident.

        Even when you go back in time the cost to tax payers is absurd. Old Nunatsiaq snipit below:

        “Jump ahead to 2011, and Nunavut was spending triple the amount on babies — $28,090 per infant, compared to the Canadian average of $9,631.

        In the same year, Nunavut also paid a whopping $223,724 per senior between the ages of 85 and 90 years of age, compared to the Canadian average of $24,003.”

        Time to come back to reality. Turns out it’s incredibly expensive to keep a Territory going that takes a quarter of Canadas landmass but has sub 1% of its population, all spread out thousands of KM’s and subject to the harshest conditions in Canada with no road access of any kind. All while supporting the population with the highest per capita amount of health issues, highest unemployment rate, the highest cost of living and worst educated. These are not to hurt feelings, its just reality and readily available information on Stats Canada.

        • Posted by lucky2BNorth on

          😉 he he he I fell so lucky to be living here in Nunavut.

  13. Posted by GN on

    Surprise surprise, yet more incompetence with the GN, but hey let’s blame the Inuit Organizations on this one too! Lol!

  14. Posted by common sense on

    Please tell me how does the GN get funding for a project without a business plan?
    Not going to complain I just want to get money too. sign me up

    • Posted by tootsieroll on

      Hey wait,sign me up too, I want get funds for new business, ll open a better and new automobile mechanic garage that charge less and actually really repair cars for real, I will call it Lower Base Garage lol

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