Project Profiles in Nunavut

Learn more about some of the projects in Nunavut by selecting a community name:

Federal Gas Tax Fund helps keep northern communities clean and livable

Wastewater facility in Cambridge Bay

Project location: Cambridge Bay

With low population densities, large open spaces and freezing temperatures for most of the year, Nunavut communities must use approaches to waste and wastewater management that vary from the more southern parts of Canada. For example, solid waste is deposited into shallow, wide landfills instead of the deep valleys or the holes commonly left by previous quarry operations. Wastewater is also temporarily stored in shallow lagoons during winter months until it can be warmed enough to promote decomposition so it can be released and filtered through tundra wetlands during the summer months.

In the Hamlet of Cambridge Bay, both waste facilities required upgrading. Thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund this work is now complete.

The existing landfill was overflowing, and constant winds were resulting in a landscape littered with debris. The federal funding supported the installation of a fence to stop the scattering of debris. New, lined, containment cells were installed to help the community properly dispose of items such as batteries, contaminated soil, and oil barrels.

At the Wastewater lagoon, ice often blocked sewage culverts during the spring thaw, causing effluent to overflow onto nearby roads. Odour was a concern for some residents nearly year-round. Here, the federal funding supported improvements to the culvert drainage and spill barriers were built to properly retain sewage until it was ready to be released into the natural environment. These measures helped stop the overflow and odour issues.

Thanks to these measures, the community of 1,500 is now in compliance with Nunavut Water Board guidelines, not to mention enjoying a cleaner, fresher environment. The upgrades are expected to meet community needs for the next 20 to 25 years.

Preserving Inuit culture in Nunavut

The new Piqqusilirvvik in Clyde River

Project location: Clyde River

The construction of Piqqusilirivvik, an Inuit cultural learning facility located on the northeast coast of Baffin Island, is now complete.

Funded through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, the new facility is geared towards teaching young people how to maintain their cultural values. Elders provide hands-on training in areas such as Inuit languages, arts, laws, values and beliefs, legends, and traditional hunting and survival techniques. Twenty-seven students and teachers from across the Territory inaugurated the program in September 2011.

Piqqusilirivvik helps protect Inuit culture by providing a central location for Inuit students from across the territory to gather and learn. It plays a vital role in the promotion and preservation of Inuit culture, language and heritage for future generations.

Federal contribution: Nunavut is receiving $182.7 million through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund for initiatives across the Territory.

Improving community spaces in the land of the midnight sun

Project location: Grise Fiord

North of the Arctic Circle, hamlet offices often act as hubs for all kinds of activities besides municipal business. From cultural celebrations and story-telling evenings to functions for visitors and even sporting events, they can be the central venue for community gatherings.

The hamlet office in Grise Fiord was aging and lacked space to accommodate a wide range of activities. To help residents get through the long dark winters and encourage community development, officials decided to build a new complex.

The new building houses hamlet offices and community organizations such as Income Support and the Hunters and Trappers Association. It also has a gym attached to it, including a full-size volleyball court and a stage. A common canteen and kitchen area round out the amenities.

With an inviting new multi-purpose facility in place, residents have a central space to plan their municipal future, celebrate their communal accomplishments and stay active.

This project was made possible by financial support from the federal and provincial governments through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund.

Federal Gas Tax Fund helps northern communities improve long-term infrastructure planning

Project location: Iqaluit

To help ensure that infrastructure funding from multiple sources is used as effectively as possible, all 25 Nunavut communities are required to create planning documents called Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSP's). Since infrastructure needs change over time, ICSP's need to be evergreen documents that can be easily updated.

With support from the federal Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Nunavut developed an online ICSP tool kit (soon to be available in all four official languages of Nunavut — English, French, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun) to facilitate the process. It allows officials to create Web-based community profiles and outline their ongoing infrastructure investment plans. Taking into consideration community demographics, economic and social goals, plus any local challenges, each community lists off its approved projects getting external funding as well as the projects that are being funded by the community itself. The status of each is updated as the project proceeds. The infrastructure plan portion of the site breaks out planned future infrastructure projects into short-, medium- and long-term time periods and by project category, listing off the goals of each of these investments.

These publicly accessible sites outline the current infrastructure situation in each Nunavut community. Easy to update and maintain, they provide an efficient, transparent approach to annual capital planning.

Under the New Building Canada Plan, rolling out in 2014, communities across the country will have greater flexibility in how they apply the federal Gas Tax Fund. With this new tool kit in place, Nunavut communities will be well ahead of the curve in identifying priority projects and ensuring sustainable, long-term economic development in northern communities.

Arctic Winter Games Arena

The Arctic Winter Games Arena in Iqaluit

Project location: Iqaluit

The Arctic Winter Games Arena was built for the 2002 Arctic Winter Games. After the games, the 2,500 seat multi-purpose arena was turned over to the City of Iqaluit. In the fall of 2003, deterioration of the rink area became apparent. Although the arena was still used as a youth centre and for large community gatherings, the rink was no longer viable.

This project has made the arena fully operational again, providing an outlet for recreational and physical activity in the community and facilitating the growth of many recreational programs, including figure skating, hockey and broomball. The repaired rink will also provide a source of revenue for the City, and enable the arena to once again host large sporting events.

Such national sporting competitions inspire Iqaluit's youth to participate in sports, and provide local businesses and artisans with important economic opportunities.

The repairs involved replacing the damaged concrete with a new structural slab supported by a piled foundation driven into the bedrock.

"It's going to be used again for its original intent," said Elisapee Sheutiapik, former Mayor of Iqaluit.

Video on the Economic Action Plan of Canada website: Arctic Winter Games Arena project creates jobs and economic growth

Federal contribution: $748,740

Revitalizing crucial local infrastructure in the North

Qikiqtarjuaq airport

Qikiqtarjuaq Hamlet office

Project location: Qikiqtarjuaq

The small island community of Qikiqtarjuaq is located just off the northeast coast of Baffin Island. Its proximity to Greenland makes this village of 500 people a popular stopping point for small aircraft heading to Scandinavia and Europe.

Thanks to financial support from the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund, Qikiqtarjuaq is benefiting from recent upgrades to two very important pieces of community infrastructure—the local hamlet office and the airport.

Residents of any of Nunavut's communities know that the Hamlet offices are more than just government services administration centres. Offering places for people to interact, share stories and build community spirit, as well as get essential services and Internet access, they serve as key community cultural centres and meeting places.

Equally important to residents are the transportation links to the rest of the country. Ships and barges arrive with supplies during summer months, but both the island residents and visiting travellers are reliant on the airport for year-round transportation of goods and people. A more modern, inviting terminal is making send-offs and arrivals more comfortable, while runway improvements have increased safety.

Providing communities with high-quality modern infrastructure is a key part of developing the North and improving the quality of life for residents.

Federal contribution: Nunavut is receiving $182.7 million through the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund for initiatives across the Territory.

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