Nunavut officials seek $2.2M for 24-hour security at 10 health centres

Nunavut’s Department of Health is looking to increase security in 10 of the territory’s health centres to fight vandalism. Health centre in Grise Fiord was just broken into last week.

Grise Fiord health centre broken into last week

'There has been an increased risk, vandalism, and break-ins in health centres across Nunavut,' said Health Minister Paul Okalik. He's calling for increased security in 10 health centres. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

Nunavut's Department of Health is looking to boost security in the territory's health centres, to fight an increased risk of vandalism.

It's asking for $2.24 million to provide 24-hour security at 10 health facilities across the territory.

"The safety of our health care workers and our clients is important, and unfortunately there has been an increased risk, vandalism and break-ins in health centres across Nunavut," said Health Minister Paul Okalik.

Okalik said this proposal is just the start.

"These 10 communities have been identified for past vandalism and break-ins, so that's where we're starting from," he said.

"We'll see if we need to expand it, hopefully not."

Grise Fiord break-in

The call for increased security at community health centres comes after a break-in at Grise Fiord's facility last week. Someone tried to steal pharmaceutical drugs from the centre late Wednesday night.

The person or persons were able to get into the building, causing minor damage to the centre's doors, but nothing was missing.

"The pharmaceutical drugs that are held at the health centre are in another locked room," said RCMP Cpl. David Lawson.

"People who broke into the health centre were unsuccessful in going into that room — although they tried."

Lawson said the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.

Grise Fiord's health centre is not one of those the Nunavut government has slated for increased security.

The intent is to contract security services in Cape Dorset, Igloolik, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet, Arviat, Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven and Kugluktuk.

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