Capital growth
MLA and town work to define future growth of Iqaluit

Maria Canton
Northern News Services

IQALUIT (Oct 18/99) - The evolution of Iqaluit as Nunavut's capital city should include museums, parkland, a science centre, theatre and be clustered in a central "capital area."

So says Iqaluit East MLA Ed Picco, who recently delivered on a February campaign promise to commission a study on the growth and development of Iqaluit as a capital city.

Picco released a discussion paper, prepared at a cost of $5,000, which recommends, among other things, a capital commission be established to guide long-term growth of the town.

"I'm happy with the pro-active perspectives put forward in this paper," said Picco.

"It's meant as a pre-feasibility study to help set Iqaluit up as a capital."

Using funds from his constituency budget, Picco hired Yellowknife firm Treeline Planning Services to produce the report that he says has a "made in Nunavut" approach.

"I want to see local input and input from the communities on how the capital will develop. It's an 'Iqaluit for all of Nunavut' approach," said Picco.

"We have a lot of culture and language issues to decide on. Alone there are four written languages we have to represent."

A capital commission body would oversee and implement changes, as well as work in conjunction with the municipal and territorial governments.

The discussion paper also suggests building an air terminal at the opposite end of the runway and building a new Nunavut legislative assembly.

Every capital city in Canada has a capital commission and Picco's paper is based on historical precedents set by other cities, including Ottawa's National Commission.

Town unveils new plans

The release of the capital commission discussion paper coincides with the Town of Iqaluit's unveiling of the draft phase of their new general plan and zoning bylaw.

Arrived at independently, both the town and Picco say the two separate sets of data will complement each other.

"The capital commission discusses improving and increasing our infrastructure, which is definitely part of our general plan," said Matthew Hough, project and development co-ordinator for the municipality.

Ottawa-based J.L. Richards & Associates Limited and Golder & Associates, which has an office in Yellowknife, were jointly awarded the $235,000 contract and had the new plans on public display in Iqaluit last week. They indicate land use areas for commercial, institutional, industrial, residential and recreational development.

The viewings were the first in a series designed to attract feedback from the public on where they would like to see development occur.

"Because of the significant amount of development here, we needed to look at the tools needed and get an idea of what kind of development will work," said Tom Kent, a senior planner with J.L Richards.

Kent told the council his firm was hoping to have the final plans completed shortly after the new year.