People in Igloolik spent a week this fall hauling loads of brand new construction materials home from the community’s garbage dump.
Ike Haulli estimates he and a friend drove away with $70,000 worth of supplies.
“I went there three times and loaded my truck up with stuff, like plumbing supplies, electrical. You name it. They threw everything out.”
Haulli, like many others in the community, believes the materials were quietly thrown out by the Nunavut Housing Corporation.
“What a waste,” said Richard Turbide, another Igloolik resident, sifting through large bolts and nails in early October, a week after the supplies were dropped off.
“Somebody told me they were dropping a bunch of stuff at the dump and I come up here and it was everywhere. Everything from brass fittings, copper fittings, joist hangers, every type of nail and bolt you can imagine.”
All that, plus drywall in the package, exterior doors and insulation.
“It was all Housing Corporation material,” Haulli says, “left over from that building project they did where they went into debt.”
That building project was the Nunavut Housing Trust, launched in 2006 and funded by $200 million of federal funding. Four years later, the NHC realized it had overspent by $110 million on 700 units.
Solomon Allurut is the manager of the Igloolik Housing Authority.
“Nunavut Housing Trust would have sole responsibility over that. We didn't have any responsibility when they were taking out.”
The acting president and CEO of the Nunavut Housing Corporation says extra materials are often bought for construction projects in the North in case anything is damaged in transit.
"I can also say based on our prior review there were some materials ordered that were probably surplus to the project," he said.
He says it would have been more costly to organize the sale of the items. The housing corporation did give some material to the local housing authority and the rest ended up at the landfill.
Gordon says the housing corporation does plan to sell its leftover sea cans in Igloolik for $3,000 each. That could mean almost 100-thousand dollars for the housing corp.
He also says the corporation has changed its practices to try to make sure material doesn't go the dump.