City of Iqaluit operating without water licence

Officials in Iqaluit could face $100,000 fine, jail time because the city's solid waste management plan was supposed to be delivered to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada by Nov. 30.

City could face $100K fine because of late solid waste management plan

The City of Iqaluit is in hot water with the federal government because council still hasn't approved a solid waste management plan.

A special city council meeting was held Tuesday night to move the plan along because the city doesn't have a water licence. The plan was supposed to be delivered to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada by Nov. 30, 2013.

AANDC representatives met with city council Jan. 14. That's when council heard that John Hussey, the city's chief administrative officer, received a letter from the federal government in March 2013.

It outlines that the city's water licence expired in July 2012 and the city has yet to file for another one. 

City Councillor Kenny Bell says he's frustrated council wasn't informed of the letter until the visit from Aboriginal Affairs. 

Iqaluit city council held a special meeting Tuesday night because it was supposed to have a solid waste management plan by the end of November. (CBC)

"It worries me especially because we weren't informed of it. You know, it scares me, you know, what else is out there that we're not informed of you know and that's why exactly why I've said I've lost faith in the administration," he says.

The federal government says if the city does not comply with the directions outlined in the letter there could be consequences.

Those could include jail time for those responsible and a $100,000 fine. 

Part of the city's waste management plan may be building an incinerator. Eco Waste Solutions, a company from Burlington, Ontario, presented its work at Tuesday night's meeting.

Construction would cost about $4 million. The incinerator would run on diesel and burn garbage into ash. It wouldn't destroy glass or metal so those materials could be reused or recycled. 

Iqaluit mayor John Graham says building an incinerator as part of the city's waste management plan has merit but needs to be studied more. (CBC)

Mayor John Graham says it was good to hear the company's ideas.        

"I certainly think that it has a lot of merit. Obviously it's something that's going to have to be studied a little bit more because there's questions that still have to be answered in terms of how many tonnes you could boot through this type of machine. What the electrical cost will be. What the fuel consumption costs are going to be," said Graham. 

The city is looking into incineration following feedback gathered during public consultations last summer. Eco Waste Solutions has some northern experience. The company has installed incinerators at Eureka and Alert, Nunavut. 


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