Communities across Nunavut will benefit from the construction of crucial infrastructure and the establishment of vital services thanks to a joint investment of more than $194 million from the federal and territorial governments.

Announced by Minister Sean Fraser, Premier P.J. Akeeagok and Minister David Joanasie, these projects will help advance Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future, while enabling the delivery of essential services such as health care, public transportation, and a safe and reliable supply of drinking water for Nunavummiut.

“From increasing public transportation options in northern communities to improving critical water access, long-term care facilities, and more energy-efficient infrastructure, these projects support our commitment improving the health and well-being of Nunavummiut, while protecting the environment. By working hand-in-hand with our partners, we are building livable and sustainable communities now and into the future,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities.

Funding will support the completion of a 24-bed seniors long term care facility in Rankin Inlet, which will provide essential personal care and health services to Nunavummiut Elders. The new facility will enable residents to age closer to home, while supporting the unique values and lifestyles of Nunavummiut. Once complete, the new space will operate in an energy efficient manner with low greenhouse gas emissions.

“As outlined in the Nunavut Drinking Water Strategy, building water treatment plants that are specific to the needs of our growing communities is essential. The design and construction of these facilities is not just about infrastructure, but about safeguarding public health and empowering our communities. Through partnerships such as the Green Infrastructure Stream, we will continue to advance community infrastructure projects that support healthy and sustainable communities,” said David Joanasie, Minister of Community and Government Services, Government of Nunavut.

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The Municipality of Sanikiluaq will also benefit from the creation of a new water treatment facility. This work will consist of the design and construction of a building that will support the growing needs of this Inuit community and ensure compliance with public health standards. Furthermore, several other communities will see the addition of new water treatment facilities, such as the hamlets of Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, and Grise Fiord. These projects will ensure the effective treatment of water and the availability of a safe and reliable drinking water supply for these communities for generations to come.

In addition, direct funding to municipalities will support the purchase of transit vehicles for the hamlets of Pond Inlet and Resolute Bay. These new transportation options will better connect residents, including seniors and persons with disabilities, to essential services in their communities such as medical appointments, along with other day-to-day activities.

“This Green and Inclusive Community Buildings funding is a prime example of the Katujjiluta mandate approach to partnerships; It demonstrates collaboration and partnership between two levels of government committed to dignity and care closer to home for Nunavummiut. This funding helps us build more Elder care capacity in Nunavut and give future residents safe, healthy, and more accessible lives,” said John Main, Minister of Health, Government of Nunavut.

The federal government is investing $129,913,246 towards these projects through various programs including the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program, the Rural Transit Solutions Fund (RTSF), as well as the Green Infrastructure Stream (GIS) of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). The Government of Nunavut is investing $64,863,750 while the hamlets of Pond Inlet and Resolute Bay are contributing a combined $76,755.

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“Residents and Elders in Pond Inlet are excited about the new transit bus for the community. During cold winter months, it will allow them to go to the store and attend special events, like the Health Centre’s weekly feast and games, and be dropped off at home afterwards. We, at the Hamlet, are very proud to be offering this new transit service,” said Joshua Arreak, Mayor of Pond Inlet.

“The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is helping improve rural mobility options for community members in the Hamlet of Resolute Bay,” said Ian Dudla, Interim Chief Administrative Officer for the Hamlet of Resolute Bay.

Featured image:(L to R) Federal Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities Sean Fraser; MP Lori Idlout; and Minister of Community and Government Services David Joanasie at the Nunavut legislature in Iqaluit on Jan. 4, 2024. (Infrastructure Canada)

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