Nunavut’s power corp. looks to build new head office in Baker Lake

$13-million project won’t have an impact on power rates until 2022, QEC says

This is QEC’s customer care and IT office in Baker Lake, one of three spaces that make up the corporation’s headquarters in the Kivalliq community. The QEC has now applied to build a new head office to consolidate its office space. (PHOTO COURTESY OF QEC)

By Sarah Rogers

Qulliq Energy Corporation has applied to the Government of Nunavut to build a new head office in Baker Lake.

The government agency said it’s looking to construct the new office to help accommodate the QEC’s Baker Lake staff in one place, while also addressing the upcoming termination of an office lease, the QEC said in a Jan. 9 news release.

Currently, the QEC’s 45 Baker Lake-based administrative employees are spread out in three different office spaces in the community of 2,000.

To that end, the QEC has submitted a major project permit to Jeannie Ehaloak, Nunavut’s minister responsible for the QEC, requesting approval for the new office.

Under the corporation’s own act, the QEC must have ministerial approval before it moves ahead on any capital project that has a projected cost of over $5 million.

The proposed project is estimated to run to about $13 million, the corporation said, and will be considered a “common cost” shared among Nunavut communities.

“The project will have no impact on rates until the time of QEC’s first general rate application following the project coming in-service, which is expected no earlier than the 2020/21 fiscal year,” the QEC said in its permit application.

At that point, the estimated rate increase that year would be approximately 0.35 cents per kilowatt hour.

Before making her decision, however, Ehaloak will have to consult with the QEC’s Utility Rates Review Council.

If approved, construction of the new building could begin as soon as summer 2020, with an expected opening date sometime in 2021.

The QEC counts 212 employees overall between Baker Lake, its coporation office in Iqaluit and regional offices in Rankin Inlet, and Cambridge Bay.


An earlier version of this story reported that the QEC’s rate increase would be 35 cents per kilowatt hour, when the increase is actually 0.35 cents per kWh.

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(19) Comments:

  1. Posted by Paul on

    That’s why they suck everyone’s money!

  2. Posted by Former employee. on

    QEC needs to get there sh!te together, that’s one messed up organization, they should focus on employee retention instead. Too many incompetent supervisors, managers and Director running that organization with zero accountability, money being thrown out the door with products they buy that dont even be used. Minister should clean house instead.

  3. Posted by A friend of a friend on

    I hear nothing but grief from staff there. Staff being harassed and yelled at. Being made fun of by senior staff at the very top and HR themselves. What a place to work. Someone ought to look into what is going on at the place. I hear it from so many different people that it is full of corruption. Is the minister and board a sleep? What about the premier or HR minister?

  4. Posted by Louis on

    Why they need a new building when the one here in baker is empty. No staff to fill it. All of the long term staff quit for gn or south jobs. HR has been moved to Iqaluit. 13 million dollars for a small office. These folks are living high on the hog. More so thsn ever. No ocersight. Spend spend spend. I wish i coukd work there so i can take a 2 hour lunch braek and drive company truck around.

  5. Posted by Where’s the accountability… on

    How about cut salaries and bonuses from the overpaid senior employees before passing it onto the customer?!

  6. Posted by Crazed Hunter on

    Power cost is increasing and increasing. When is enough enough? The same issues their for years. The piss poor treatment of local staff. Inuit not getting housing. Southern staff free housing. No training unless your at the top. A power plant use to cost 8 million. Now a office is double the cost . Powerplants 3 times the amount. I call bull.

  7. Posted by Old timer on

    The GN will never learn. They put weak Ministers in charge and ignore the place. A department so important so neglected. The place is ignored until the power goes in Iqaluit. Something isnt working. But they say a fool is someone doing the samething over and over and expecting different results. Someone should remind them that they are owned by the GN.

  8. Posted by SK on

    “The project will have no impact on rates until the time of QEC’s first general rate application following the project coming in-service, which is expected no earlier than the 2020/21 fiscal year,” the QEC said in its permit application.
    At that point, the estimated rate increase that year would be approximately 35 cents per kilowatt hour.

    I bet QEC one day will make Nunavut most expensive in terms of electricity in the whole universe….

  9. Posted by Left in the dark on

    It is about time that major action is taken to fix that place. Too many folks who should be held accountable are either left in the dark or refuse to take action. Where is the URRC board on all this useless spending? Where is the QEC board on this? Seems that they are all sitting at the same table winning and dinning on the rate payers dime. I call for more transparency on where money is being spent.

  10. Posted by Gf of x employee on

    My partner worked there for many years WO issues. All was good until 2 / 3 years ago. Change in upper managmnt and he could no longer work their. Saddly we miss the friends and the income. Wish it would be clean up and long term workers were treated better and inuit have a way to speak out. Tamia

  11. Posted by Smoke and mirrors on

    How is Baker their headquaters? May be it isnt on their books but they moved so many PYs to IQ. There goes decentralization. Really though who is watching. I’d like to see the number of staff actually working in their Baker office. Then divide the 13 M by that. And by the way how do the rest of those poistions end up in IQ? Also have they heard of cubicles or do everyone get their own executive sized office for that price?

  12. Posted by Business Guru on

    A study was done many years ago about businesses building a single headquarters for all their staff.

    Almost invariably, those businesses collapsed a few years later.

    Turned out this was the result of those businesses focusing inward on their own wants, rather than outward on the requirements of their customers. Even after the new building was built and occupied, they could not get back to what really mattered.

    Sounds like QEC is truly lost.

    Minister better clean house before we all freeze in the dark, but I’m not holding my breath.

  13. Posted by Ken on

    I thought the head office was in Iqaluit? They built a huge office building a few uears ago, the President and the big shots are in Iqaluit, i dont think Baker is really the head office, maybe on paper but in really its in Iqaluit.

  14. Posted by Joe Smoe on

    So much talk about head office. REally they’re headless. No leadership. We are in a crisis. Similar to that of the city. Nobidy will be able to afford water or power. Government should STEP UP and take over the power corp and the city. What do you say Joe!?

  15. Posted by Reader on

    Have any of you actually read the application? If not, you’re chirping without any understanding of the project or why it is needed.

  16. Posted by Maddse on

    I couldn’t find the dimensions of the ivory tower. No worries as long as it is built so it can be added to the old boys club resume. Hope they can find a job in the south before the rates go up again. Or is electricity included in their housing bennefit?

  17. Posted by Mary on

    The Utility Rate Review Council should investigate some of these comments regarding office space not being managed properly. If these comments are correct, this would mean the residents are paying for vacate office space. If most
    of the staff have been relocated to Iqaluit, why not move the remainder to Iqaluit where there is available office space to rent. Then they would not need to build a new office building.

  18. Posted by Wondering? on

    hmmm..They need this building..just like the GN needs a hole in their head!…oh wait…

  19. Posted by David on

    You think after the fire and the problem with the health centre building that the gov would put cash in to the health centre and not in QEC they need it more than QEC.

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