What was described as a "temporary jail" to ease overcrowding at Iqaluit’s Baffin Correctional Centre will actually be permanent, says Nunavut Justice Minister Daniel Shewchuk.

Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt asked in the legislative assembly what to call the proposed structure next to the Baffin Correctional Centre after MLAs approved an extra $5 million on Monday for what was originally called a temporary jail.

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Nunavut's Justice Minister Daniel Shewchuk says an "overcrowding relief structure" to be built near Iqaluit's Baffin Correctional Centre will be permanent for now. (CBC)

"Although the budget requests that have gone before the legislative assembly for approval describe this as a temporary structure, the minister of finance indicated yesterday that, I quote, ‘it will be more of a permanent-type facility than a temporary facility,’" he said.

Justice Minister Daniel Shewchuk said it should never have been called a temporary jail. He said it's an "overcrowding relief structure" and said it's permanent for now.

"My vision and the government's vision is to work towards a facility that will house all of our inmates in Nunavut," he said.

Shewchuk said there are ongoing discussions about a new jail. He said he has talked to federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, MP Leona Aglukkaq and some interested senators.

During the fall sitting, MLAs approved $8.7 million for the "overcrowding relief structure."

With the $5 million approved this week, the total cost could be close to $14 million.