Iqaluit Elders Home set to open this month, premier says

Still no word on when residents will return

The Iqaluit Elders Home is set to reopen this month, following a nine-month closure. (File photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The Iqaluit Elders Home is set to reopen soon after a nine-month closure.

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok made the announcement during the Jan. 6 COVID-19 news conference.

“We were just made aware that the renovations for the elders facility here in Iqaluit are almost done,” he said. “A contractor is in place. And they anticipate the opening of the elders facility this month.”

Nunatsiaq News asked the Health Department when elders will be transferred back into the home, how COVID-19 may affect those plans and which company has been contracted to operate the home, but has not received answers to these questions.

The home closed May 8, and the government transferred four elders to Embassy West Senior Living in Ottawa and two others elsewhere in Nunavut. At the time, Health Department spokesperson Chris Puglia said the closure was due to a COVID-19 outbreak among staff.

Then-health minister Lorne Kusugak later said the government would use the elders’ absence to get renovations done and hire a new operator to replace Pairijiit Tigummiaqtikkut, which had quit two months prior, citing poor treatment from the GN.

There are seven elders at Embassy West with COVID-19, said Health Minister John Main on Tuesday. He said the department is monitoring the situation very closely.

A representative for Embassy West said the residents are doing well and are asymptomatic.

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