A staff-shortage preventing completion of a management plan resulted in the planned autumn opening being pushed back to summer, according to the transport ministry
A management plan for Iqaluit’s deep-sea port will be ready ahead of this summer’s sealift, says David Akeeagok, the Nunavut minister of economic development and transport.
Mr Akeeagok spoke about the management plan Wednesday after George Hickes, a member of the legislative assembly elected in Iqaluit, asked for an update on the project.
The deep-sea port was initially expected to be ready last fall, but the lack of a management plan delayed the projected opening to this year.
The nearly C$85 million (€80 million) federally funded deep-sea port allows ships to dock during all tide conditions. Without the port, ships have to wait for high tide to get close enough to unload their cargo.
The deep-sea port has had some use already. Two fuel tankers — Woodward’s MT Kitikmeot W and MT Qikiqtaaluk W — docked in December.
The management plan will detail the hiring and training of staff, as well as equipment and safety procedures. It is part of a larger operations plan that includes docking fees and operating expenses.
Mr Akeeagok blames the delay on lack of staffing.
“We don’t have a warm body to do the work,” he told Nunatsiaq News, adding the territorial administration has hired a consulting firm to finish the management plan.
Mr Hickes noted during this week’s exchange in the legislature that preparation for the summer sealift season has started and people need to know fixed costs to carry out their deliveries.
Mr Akeeagok said he could not say what those costs will be yet.
He told Nunatsiaq News that meeting with sealift contractors is in the scope of the consultant’s work and he does not know if those meetings have happened yet.
Regardless, Mr Akeeagok said he’s confident the work will be done on time.
“One way or another. The sealift will come and that port will be used.”
Nunatsiaq News is the newspaper of record for Nunavut and the Nunavik territory of Quebec. It has been published since 1973 and reaches 50,000 readers in 39 eastern Arctic communities each week through its website and weekly e-editions. Its editorial team offers credible, in-depth, award-winning journalism, drawing readers from northern and southern Canada and around the world. Nunatsiaq News is owned by Nortext Publishing Corp., which maintains offices in Iqaluit and Ottawa.
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