Iqaluit planning committee gives nod to recovery centre

Three councillors describe importance of keeping a nearby snowmobile trail open

Iqaluit city councillors are recommending that the city issue a development permit for the Nunavut Recovery Centre, as a result of a vote at the city’s planning and development committee meeting Tuesday. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Iqaluit city councillors gave their blessing to grant a development permit for the Nunavut Recovery Centre Tuesday evening at a meeting of the city’s planning and development committee.

The next step will be for council to approve or reject the committee’s recommendation.

Councillors voted unanimously at the committee meeting to recommend the city issue a development permit for the two-storey, 3,140-square-metre building.

The Government of Nunavut wants to build the recovery centre to house its future addictions and trauma treatment facility on the Road to Nowhere, north of Toonik Pond.

Deputy Mayor Kyle Sheppard and councillors Romeyn Stevenson and Simon Nattaq all spoke about the importance of making sure the nearby snowmobile trail is not blocked during construction.

“There is a critically important snowmobile trail in this area. As this area gets developed, we’re going to have to take into consideration the route of that trail,” Sheppard said.

The Nunavut Recovery Centre will be opened near Toonik Pond. (Screenshot courtesy of the City of Iqaluit)

He asked that a special condition be added to the development permit stating the contractor will not block the snowmobile trail, which city consultant Samantha Toffolo said could happen.

“When a large piece of vacant land like this is going to see a large development … the storage of equipment and materials tends to expand exponentially outside of that construction [area],” Sheppard said.

Stevenson said he wants the city to add the snowmobile trail, which runs through the lot where the recovery centre is proposed to be built, to the site drawings and include it in future development maps.

“There will be some day, probably, when it’s going to be far more difficult to exit this community with a snowmobile,” Stevenson said. “Hunters and recreational users alike use this spot, so I think it would be good to formalize it.”

The recovery centre will have 24 beds, 52 employees, a daycare, outpatient treatment, a sewing room and skinning room, outdoor seating, a smoking shelter and storage seacans, according to city documents.

The Government of Nunavut, which is overseeing the project, is going to pay for a road and utilidor extension to the lot located behind Toonik Pond, just off of Niaqunngusiariaq Road, also known as the road to Apex.


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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Great on

    I’m glad to hear this. A recovery centre is a fantastic idea; harm reduction measures are desperately needed here.

    With future development I hope Council will extend the same consideration to pedestrians that they do to people on snowmobiles.

  2. Posted by Isn’t it ironic? on

    “The Government of Nunavut wants to build the recovery centre to house its future addictions… treatment facility”

    “The recovery centre will have… a smoking shelter.”

    Ahhh, the irony.

    • Posted by Smoker on

      Some 80% of nunavummiut smoke. This is for drug and alcohol recovery not smokes and coffee. Let them smoke!

      • Posted by It Is Still Funny No Matter How You Look At It on

        No doubt what you say is true. That doesn’t cut down on the irony, and the humour, of the quote.

    • Posted by Patrick Star on

      As ironic as it may seem, nicotine use is often used as harm reduction in addictions treatment. If smoking helps you stay away from speed or alcohol, then it can be worth the other health risks.

  3. Posted by Northern Guy on

    So Council has agreed to allow a drug and alcohol treatment center to be built in a primarily residential neighbourhood and within a few hundred feet of two primary schools?

    • Posted by John K on

      Yes, and?

    • Posted by all in on

      no addicts here…Northern Guy, are you suggesting there are no addicts that living in residential neighborhoods and/or within a few hundred feet of two primary schools? In Iqaluit, or anywhere else? A treatment centre is not generally the place where sh*t goes down. It’s not a detox centre in downtown Toronto. It has a daycare for pete’s sake. Stigmatizing people seeking treatment as dangerous, or as those who shouldn’t be around residential neighborhoods and/or schools is incredibly intolerant and ignorant of you.

      • Posted by Hear Hear on

        Well said.

        His comment reminds me of people in the south who prefer needle covered beaches to doing anything substantive about the issue.

      • Posted by Northern Guy on

        Dear all in: Its not about whether or not a treatment centre is a good idea. Its about about putting some thought into the planning process in order to ensure that adjacent land uses are appropriate and commensurate. There are plenty of vacant and appropriately zoned lots in town that don’t sit immediately adjacent to residential and educational facilities. I would have said the same thing if Council had approved a vehicle repair shop or gas station on that piece of land.

  4. Posted by Get it right this time! on

    There was a perfectly good treatment centre built in Apex that failed because of the government’s interference, mismanagement, culture, and lack of community support for those in treatment and after treatment. Unless there’s a major change in all these dynamics then the results of this new venture will probably end in failure as well. Stop putting the cart before the horse and get the foundational supports in place first. It would be nice to see this project set up to succeed and not fail!

    • Posted by Anne Crawford on

      The treatment centre in Apex was shut down by the GNWT at least 5 years before Nunavut – so more than 30 years ago. By definition things have changed. This Centre deserves our support and vigilance – it has been too long coming. The sooner the better.

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