Military on its way to Iqaluit for water emergency
The Government of Nunavut requested military assistance for the city’s water crisis
The Canadian Armed Forces will be deployed in Iqaluit to help provide residents with clean drinking water.
Early reports indicate the military will be setting up a temporary water treatment plant to help the Nunavut capital, where 8,000 residents were told 10 days ago to stop drinking tap water from the municipal water system.
“It’s a little too early to say what they’re going to do,” Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell said during a press conference Friday afternoon.
But Bell said he talked earlier in the day with a military officer, who said the Canadian Forces had begun an assessment of where the military could set up a water treatment plant. Between three and five military personnel flew in Friday to “hit the ground running,” the mayor said.
News the military will be deployed in Iqaluit came Friday afternoon in tweets by federal emergency preparedness minister Bill Blair, and then Canadian Armed Forces.
“We are currently working with federal and territorial partners to finalize the details on our support to the people of Iqaluit,” Captain Bonnie Wilken said in an email to Nunatsiaq News.
The Government of Nunavut called a state of emergency last week after a contamination of petroleum hydrocarbons in the city’s water system. City residents began reporting an odour in the city’s water on Oct. 2.
On Oct. 5, the mayor told residents not to drink the tap water, resulting in a run on bottled water, emergency shipments of water shipped by plane from the south and people drawing water from the Sylvia Grinnell River.