Iqaluit storm re-ignites call for GN weather policy changes
Offices were initially open, then closed in afternoon
Following Iqaluit's first snowstorm of the season, the Nunavut Employees Union says changes to the Nunavut government's bad weather policy are still not enough.
The GN recently sent out a note to employees spelling out the criteria used when deciding whether to close GN offices because of bad weather. Its bad weather policies came into question during a blizzard last March when the city asked people to stay off the roads but the GN told its employees to come to work.
High winds and blowing snow closed all Iqaluit schools on Tuesday. Crews did their best to keep roads open while power outages made things worse in many areas of the city.
The GN's Iqaluit offices were declared open in the morning then they were closed for the afternoon.
Caroline Anawak, president of NEU Local 5, says the government's actions didn't make sense.
"There have been modifications to that policy but there's not enough and they keep putting in many, many things by which to measure whether they should close. Therefore the visibility and the wind speed were only a couple of what they measure," she said.
"I don't think the end of the world would meet their criteria."
Anawak says an unclear weather policy puts employees at risk. She says they may go out in bad weather and try to walk to work or have to leave their children with others because daycares are closed.
Anawak says other communities know when to shut down when the weather is bad and union members will be lobbying for improvements.