Housing hassles

The housing situation in Gjoa Haven is going from bad to worse, says Natilikmiot MLA John Ningark.

Last Monday Ningark told the legislature that 13 houses in Gjoa Haven and five homes in Taloyoak are without sewer systems and running water.

The houses, said Ningark, are occupied, even though other government houses waiting for buyers stand vacant.

The minister responsible for the NWT Housing Corporation, Goo Arlooktoo could provide no assurances the housing problems would be dealt with this summer.

Meanwhile, the standing committee on infrastructure recommended suspending the practice of selling government houses to anyone other than the occupants.

Icebreaker locked in

Federal plans to terminate one of two icebreakers working the Arctic Ocean appear to have caught the territorial government by surprise.

"This was announced without any consultation with any of the people who are going to be affected," Transportation Minister Jim Antoine said of news the icebreaker serving the Western Arctic will be shut down this year.

Antoine was responding to questions raised by High Arctic MLA Levi Barnabas. Barnabas said two icebreakers were needed last year to make way for a late-season sea lift to arctic communities.

"We have not had a chance to analyse what effect (the termination) of the icebreaker will have on the people of the North," said Antoine.

He added the Arctic Marine Advisory Board, which made the decision, will be made aware of territorial concerns.