Sanikiluaq’s fuel shortage to last until end of week
GN minister says new shipment will arrive by end of the week; community has dealt with shortage since Oct. 19
Relief is on the way for Sanikiluaq, which has struggled through a diesel fuel shortage for the past week.
A fresh shipment of fuel is expected to arrive by the end of this week, says Minister of Community and Government Services David Joanasie.
“I understand [fuel] is in dire need,” Joanasie said of the shortage that has plagued the community for the past week.
His statement came in response to a question in Nunavut’s legislative assembly Wednesday from Hudson Bay MLA Daniel Qavvik, who represents Sanikiluaq.
Noting the shortage is limiting the number of flights available in the community, Qavvik asked Joanasie for an update on when the next shipment will arrive.
Since Oct. 19, Sanikiluaq has lived with the shortage, with the community having to ration fuel while it waits for the next shipment to come in.
It was scheduled to arrive Wednesday, the Government of Nunavut’s petroleum products division director Bernard Bourque told Nunatsiaq News last week.
“We’re maximizing the fuel that is there and making sure each house and building has enough to last until the next shipment arrives,” Joanasie said Wednesday, adding the shipment will not come until the end of the week.
In his minister’s statement, Joanasie said the 2022 fuel resupply season was not ideal as multiple communities experienced shortages or temporarily ran out.
He said factors that played into the fuel problems included storage capacity for fuel in communities, volume of fuel available for 2021, increased sales of fuel, and changes in the delivery schedule.
Nunavut’s petroleum products division, which is responsible for importing, distributing and storing Nunavut’s fuel, took several measures to lessen the impact of fuel shortages, Joanasie said.
That included improved monitoring of remaining fuel, rerouting fuel supply vessels to communities in need, changing storage equipment, and providing air delivery of fuel to communities in dire need.
But to ensure a shortage like Sanikiluaq’s does not occur again, Qavvik asked Joanasie for a review of his community’s situation and that results of that review be shared.
Joanasie responded the petroleum products division will evaluate its operations and publish them in its annual report to ensure a similar situation does not reoccur.
He added the GN is increasing Nunavut’s fuel purchase for next season by 12.5 per cent.
“That’s to address some of that shortage we’ve been experiencing,” Joanasie said.
Spokespersons for the Department of Community and Government Services and the Hamlet of Sanikiluaq did not respond Wednesday to a Nunatsiaq News request for more information.