The Qikiqtani Inuit Association is opposing Qulliq Energy Corporation’s plans to build a hydroelectric dam near the city.
The QEC is currently trying to build two dams outside of Iqaluit. The first site, at Qikirrijaarvik (Jaynes Inlet), is approximately 40 kilometres south of Iqaluit. The second is at Armshow South (Nunngarut), approximately 20 kilometres southwest of Iqaluit. QIA opposes the Armshow South site.
Last week, the QIA provided comments on QEC’s Armshow South proposal to the Nunavut Impact Review Board. The NIRB will do an environmental assessment off the project.
In a letter dated Sept. 18, the QIA says community members are opposed to the Armshow South dam, and QEC's proposal should to be sent back to the proponent for modification.
“The initial plans to build a dam at Nunngarut was opposed by many in Kimmirut and Iqaluit as it is a place that is frequented by Kimmirummiut and Iqalummiut for fishing and hunting activities," said Simon Nattaq of QIA. "Travelling between Iqaluit and Kimmirut would also be threatened as the lake at Nunngarut is the only viable route to cross. For these reasons we have concluded that the impact on Inuit would be too great.”
The Qikiqtani Inuit Association says in a statement that it will not approve any permits to build at Armshow South. QIA says the area is partially situated on Inuit-owned lands and within the Katannilik Territorial Park.
QIA is asking Qulliq Energy to find another site, and resubmit its hydroelectric project proposal without the Armshow South dam component.
The Iqaluit hydroelectric project is expected to cost nearly half a billion dollars. Right now, Iqaluit is powered solely by diesel generators.