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Mayors present range of concerns
Infrastructure, housing top municipal wish lists for next assembly

Northern News Services
Monday, October 2, 2017

Nunavut News/North invited mayors across Nunavut to submit their top three territorial election issues. Here are their responses:

Madeleine Redfern, Iqaluit

1. MLAs that meet with us more frequently so they're familiar with what our municipal and community issues are. It's been a challenge to have them meet with us more than once a year.

2. Our issues brought to the attention of the Government of Nunavut and in the legislative assembly, which I think is a fair expectation.

3. For this election and moving forward, with the proposed almost $1 billion of infrastructure that is being built in Iqaluit alone, it's all being built on municipal infrastructure that is outdated and crumbling, inadequate and insufficient for all this development. We simply don't have the funding on our own to deal with it.

There's often perception by the territorial government, or MLAs, since Iqaluit is a tax-based community, it has the money it needs through taxes. But if you add up paving Apex Road, the road to the deep sea port, Federal Road, that's $10 million. Upgrading the wastewater treatment plant is approximately $26 million. Shutting down the dump and opening up a new landfill, with a recycling centre, is over $30 million.

While it's wonderful to see the federal government is committed to providing significant infrastructure funding, even in some cases at 75 per cent of the project cost, if the Government of Nunavut is not helping the city with any portion of the 25 per cent we don't have the funding to find 25 per cent of paving the roads, 25 per cent of the landfill, 25 per cent of fixing the pipes.

What I've said to the federal government is that with that current funding formula, what will likely happen is that the jurisdictions that have the resources would benefit and the regions which do not have that 25 per cent equity will lose out and the disparity will grow.

It's good for the whole territory to have a strong, vibrant, sustainable, stable capital.

Simionie Sammurtok, Chesterfield Inlet

1. The consistent under-funding of small communities in Nunavut. The municipalities are always having problems getting things done in the communities because of funding. We continue, it seems like, to be forever battling deficits and we have very limited access to own sources of revenues.

2. Infrastructure: community infrastructure, office buildings, daycares, small-craft harbours. Housing, both public and private. This would be new items and the replacement of old infrastructure.

3. Transportation. Nunavut should be working to connect to the south with the Kivalliq to Manitoba (by) road connection as well as working on inter-community roads and the upgrading of the existing transportation system, and by that I mean airports and the construction of ports to handle sea-going vessels.

Maliktoo Lyta, Kimmirut

1. Airports. Each community needs modern runways and terminals.

2. Small community infrastructure establishments. Many buildings are worn and torn.

3. Harbours/wharves. Hunters and boaters alike will benefit from a safe loading site with harbours.

Mosesee Qappik, Pangnirtung

1. A new location for the airport is needed as per the consultant report.

2. New hamlet office and housing units are required.

3. A shortage of nurses in the community is a challenge, and the hamlet needs one more police officer.

Stanley Adjuk, Whale Cove

1. Infrastructure for sports. Gyms, anything for sports to keep the kids busy and away from trouble.

2. Housing. There's not enough housing in Nunavut. Part of that is there's a lot of old housing that needs to be written off or replaced. Rent-payers pay too much rent for a run-down house. That's got to be fixed. Rent-payers pay 25 or 30 per cent of their gross pay. I think they should be paying out of their net pay to help them pay less rent. Twenty (new housing units for Whale Cove) would be a good start.

3. Health. We have a health centre here and we might have one permanent nurse but a lot of the time it's agency nursing going on. There's too much turnover in agency nursing. I know for a fact that a lot of (patients) don't get seen for pre-natal or kids immunization - or (they're) going to Winnipeg for an appointment just to find out there's no appointment and flown back.

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