Iqaluit's deep sea port inches forward

The director of capital projects with Nunavut's department of Community and Government Services provided Iqaluit city council with an update on the project Tuesday night, including who might run the port once it's open.

$85-million marine project is expected to be completed in 2020

Draft plans for Iqaluit's port also show plans to nearly double the length of the city's current breakwater. (Government of Nunavut)

As progress slowly moves forward on Iqaluit's first deep sea port, questions remain over who will operate it once it's completed.

The director of capital projects with Nunavut's department of Community and Government Services gave Iqaluit city council an update on the project Tuesday night, including who might run the port once it's open.

"There are a number of options that were discussed," said Paul Mulak. 

"There was a harbour authority, there was some kind of opportunity to look at a sort of a pan-territorial or Arctic association, and you know, there's the option the GN will operate the facility," he said.

Nunavut's deputy minister of economic development and transportation has said the port would initially be owned and operated by the territory.

If you build it ...

Iqaluit's mayor pointed out the new deep sea port will not only handle cargo and oil tankers.

"We can't just think of the current usage," said Madeleine Redfern.

"You're going to have cruise ships, research ships, fishing ships, military and [the] Coast Guard." 

Mulak said both the deep sea port and small craft harbour will require extensive consultation.

"Any mega project like this in a community, we're going to want to get as much consultation and engagement with stakeholders as possible," he said.

In August, the territory hired the design firm WorleyParsons to help set up consultations, organize permits and design both the Iqaluit project and Pond Inlet's small craft harbour.

Field research has already begun for both projects.

Iqaluit's $85-million deep sea port and small craft harbour is not expected to be completed until 2020.

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