Trudeau announces $214M for Iqaluit water system after fuel contamination – National |

Iqaluit is getting $214 million from the federal authorities to repair its water infrastructure after the Nunavut capital’s water was contaminated with gasoline twice within the final six months.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced the funding at a digital press convention on Friday.

“It is a optimistic change for the folks of Iqaluit and for the native financial system,” Trudeau mentioned.

A packed room of individuals watching the announcement at Iqaluit Metropolis Corridor and broke into applause after the announcement. The cash will come from the federal Catastrophe Mitigation and Adaptation fund.

Learn extra:

Iqaluit water crisis: City shuts down treatment plant due to fuel contamination

Trudeau mentioned it will likely be used to create a brand new water reservoir and to enhance the prevailing water distribution system.

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The town’s some 8,000 residents couldn’t drink their faucet water for 60 days final fall after it was discovered to be contaminated with gasoline.

The therapy plant has been off-line since January when gasoline was discovered within the water once more.

The town had beforehand requested Ottawa for $180 million to repair its growing older water infrastructure.

Iqaluit Mayor Kenny Bell mentioned the brand new infrastructure will probably be inbuilt phases over 4 years.

“I’m elated and past grateful to the Authorities of Canada, not just for listening to our request, however for actually listening to us and taking the vital motion required to handle the long-term water disaster that has been impacting Iqalummiut,” Bell mentioned.

Click to play video: 'Contaminated Iqaluit water tank isolated following initial inspection'

Contaminated Iqaluit water tank remoted following preliminary inspection

Contaminated Iqaluit water tank remoted following preliminary inspection – Oct 22, 2021

The undertaking will see the excavation and creation of a brand new water reservoir subsequent to the town’s present water supply at Lake Geraldine. It is going to draw water from certainly one of two various water sources that the town has not but named.

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Premier P.J. Akeeagok mentioned the enhancements are important to addressing the town’s housing hole.

“This upgraded infrastructure won’t solely be capable to mitigate the impacts of local weather change, however it should additionally meet the wants of our increasing inhabitants,” Akeeagok mentioned.

“Entry to wash, protected water is a proper that ought to be accessible to any neighborhood. Nunavummiut have struggled to achieve this fundamental proper for much too lengthy.”

The announcement comes the day after Nunavut’s Privateness Commissioner issued a report on the territorial authorities’s choice to withhold about 86 pages of water testing information sought by The Canadian Press by an Entry to Data request.

In a report Thursday, Graham Steele mentioned the Nunavut authorities erred when it accepted a request from the Metropolis of Iqaluit to redact uncooked high quality testing information from the request.

Learn extra:

Fuel contamination concerns continue to cloud Iqaluit’s drinking water. Here’s why

“It seems that Well being adopted the Metropolis of Iqaluit’s objections with none impartial evaluation of whether or not these objections had advantage. Well being redacted all the things to which the Metropolis of Iqaluit objected. That was an error,” Steele wrote.

The Division of Well being argued that releasing the water information might impair its relationship with the Metropolis of Iqaluit.

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“It’s virtually inconceivable that this broad, multi-point, ongoing relationship may very well be impaired by the one-time launch of water-quality information. One would hope that the leaders of the GN and the Metropolis of Iqaluit are made from sterner stuff,” Steele wrote.

“If ever there was a case wherein a public physique ought to train its discretion in favour of disclosure, that is it. Can the operator and regulator of a public water provide actually hold water-quality information to themselves? I count on Nunavummiut can be shocked if they’ll.”

Steele advisable the Nunavut authorities launch the info with out redaction. Nunavut’s well being minister now has 30 days to reply.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

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