Nunavut's Justice Minister says the cost of the temporary jail in Iqaluit could be up to double of what was anticipated.

Daniel Shewchuk presented his capital expenditures report for the upcoming year Wednesday in the Legislative Assembly.

The proposed temporary jail is intended to reduce overcrowding at the Baffin Correctional Centre. It will be located across from the BCC, and will house about 50 inmates. 

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Nunavut's Justice Minister, Daniel Shewchuk, said despite the high costs of the temporary jail, it's needed due to overcrowding at the Baffin Correctional Centre. (CBC)

Shewchuk says building it will cost anywhere from $8.7 million to almost $15 million.

But he said the jail is needed.

"Adult male offenders constitute the vast majority of all inmates in Nunavut. Their bedspace requirements are currently not being met. This overcrowding problem has persisted over the last 10 years. The Rankin Inlet healing facility will add an additional 48 beds. However, a deficit of bed capacity will remain and, according to projects, will increase every year as the effects of Bill C-10 develop," he said, referring to the recently passed federal omnibus crime bill.

Shewchuk says the department is waiting for the final estimate. If more money is required, it will need approval from the Legislative Assembly.