Nfld. & Labrador

Water slowly returning to Hopedale as emergency response continues

Water problems are still plaguing the town of Hopedale, but the Minister of Municipal Affairs says government is working to ensure residents are being taken care of.
Hopedale, the legislative capital of the Inuit Land Claims Area Nunatsiavut, sits on the north coast of Labrador. (Google Maps)

Water problems are still plaguing the town of Hopedale, but Municipal Affairs Minister Keith Hutchings says the government is working to ensure residents are being taken care of.

According to the town's AngajukKâk, or mayor, Jimmy Tuttauko, a quarter of the town was still without water as of Tuesday morning.

On Monday, Tuttauko told CBC News that the town's water crisis was worsening, and that he was concerned for the safety of those living in the town.

Hutchings said the government is working with those in Hopedale to ensure people have basic necessities such as water.

"We engaged with the town immediately," he said.

"We've engaged with Advanced Education and Skills, Red Cross and Fire and Emergency Services."

Hutchings said government workers on the ground are mostly in a role of oversight, to see what can be done from an emergency perspective.

Part of the government response has been to ship in bottled water for people to drink

"To my understanding, there's been close to 280 cases," Hutchings said.

Long term solution

Hutchings said the town has requested that work be done on the water system in Hopedale, to avoid shortages like the one this month.

"We have to look at, from an infrastructure point of view, what's going on here," he said.

"The requests are in now from the town, the mayor has indicated there's work to be done on the reservoir. Hopefully, through a partnership, we can look at a long term infrastructure plan."

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