Councillor: Qulliq Energy freezing city out
Councillor charges Iqaluit not consulted on Jaynes Inlet hydro project
Qulliq Energy Corp. is freezing the city out of decisions about its proposed hydroelectric project at Jaynes inlet, Iqaluit city councillor Glenn Williams charged at the Aug. 26 Iqaluit City Council meeting.
The city is simply informed of Qulliq’s decisions, he said, but not adequately consulted throughout the decision-making process.
“I don’t know how Qulliq decided hydro is the best option for us,” he said.
“I don’t know how and why the Sylvia Grinnell River was ruled out as an option.”
“We have not seen a cost breakdown for Jaynes Inlet.”
“We have not been shown that the project is responsible, that it is feasible, or that it is something we could support.”
Williams’ comments came in anticipation of a letter to the city from Qulliq energy seeking Iqaluit council’s support for the Jaynes Inlet hydro project.
Williams said he was aware of the letter, and had expected it to be on their agenda that evening. Even though it was not presented to council, he decided to speak out.
He charged that Qulliq’s process for developing its Jaynes Inlet hydroelectric proposal has not been open and transparent with the city or the residents of Iqaluit.
“If Qulliq is looking for the support of this councillor,” he said, “I would like to be fully informed; not just asked to make a decision without adequate information.”
Williams stressed that he fully supports the development of an electricity source for Iqaluit that will be environmentally responsible, cost effective and good for the city in the long term.
But there has been no cost accounting to the ratepayers of the city, and “our offer to participate in the process has not been taken up.”
Williams also suggested the Sylvia Grinnell River should be considered as a site for any hydro project that is intended to serve Iqaluit.
It’s closer, he noted, and a decade from now Iqaluit will need a new water source. It would be helpful if the dam for a hydro project could also provide the water source for the city, he suggested.
“I support my colleague’s comments,” Coun. Jimmy Kilabuk added, speaking in Inuktitut.
“I would like to be consulted too — so we know what is going on, the costs and how effective the project will be.”
“This is our city,” he added. “We are responsible. They should come to us.”
Coun. Simon Nattaq, acting as deputy mayor in Elisapee Sheutiapik’s absence, noted that since he is no longer Iqaluit’s representative with Qulliq power, there is no-one representing the city on the corporation’s board.