Still waiting after 400 years


Martin Frobisher was able to load some 2,000 tons of “fool’s gold” on board his tiny little sailing ships in 1577 and haul it all back to the United Kingdom.

I don’t think that we, 400 years later, could do the same thing. I am sure he was wishing he had a dock.

Well we are still wishing four centuries later. It is quite remarkable that the Government of Canada has failed to commit money to building a proper facility in this vital and important northern community. Canadian Coast Guard vessels working in Canadian waters have to refuel in Greenland. Each and every town and village in Greenland has a dock.

The idea of building a dock in Kimmirut is the most ludicrous concept ever. The costs would be astronomical. A road linking Iqaluit to that community would cost more than $500 million. The operation and maintenance alone would bankrupt this government. Without a road, there would be no point in having a dock in Kimmirut.

The advantages of a permanent dock on Frobisher Bay would enable the ease of unloading ships on which we so heavily rely. It would reduce turn-around times, greatly reduce insurance costs, and enable shipping companies to set reliable schedules. It would facilitate crew and passenger changes, and it would also lengthen the season.

A dock would allow the Arctic fishing fleet to offload their catch and have it flown, fresh or frozen, by the local carriers to markets in Montreal and New York, thereby providing them with a back haul. This in turn would help reduce the cost of operating empty aircraft south and hopefully bring down air fares.Tourism would benefit.

Iqaluit City Council should add this issue to its agenda and begin a campaign to encourage the responsible agencies, including the military, to put into effect the creation of a dock and bring about the end to 400 years of waiting.

Bryan Pearson

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