Canadian government announces long-awaited deepwater port for Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed, Nunavut Tunngavik President Aluki Kotiek, Qikiqtani Inuit Association President P.J. Akeeagok, Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna and Nunavut Deputy Premier David Akeeagok pose for a group photo following an announcement at Nunavut Arctic College, in Iqaluit on Wednesday. (Emma Tranter/CP)

$40M port would service ships carrying supplies, as well as tourism and fishing vessels

Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut, will see a deepwater port built in its community after decades of lobbying the federal government.

Infrastructure minister Catherine McKenna announced the $40 million project Wednesday at a news conference in Iqaluit as the federal government prepares for a possible election.

The new port, which will be located near the entrance to the Northwest Passage, would service ships carrying supplies, as well as tourism and fishing vessels.

Qikiqtani Inuit Association president P.J. Akeeagok, a longtime advocate of the port, says it will also open up opportunities to sell shrimp and turbot locally in Nunavut.

About 40 per cent of Canada’s coastline is in Nunavut, but the territory doesn’t have any public ports and has just one small craft harbour located in Pangnirtung.

There are ports under construction in Pond Inlet and Iqaluit.

During her visit to Iqaluit, McKenna has also announced funding for wastewater treatment plant upgrades in several Nunavut communities.

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada:  44 per cent increase in unique ships entering Canada’s Northwest Passage, says report, Eye on the Arctic

Estonia: Estonian president favorable towards Arctic railway project, cautious about future of Arctic shipping, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Lapland Regional Council in Finland rejects Arctic railway, The Independent Barents Observer

Norway: Shipping, climate & business opportunities in the North: Q&A with the Arctic Economic Council, Eye on the Arctic

Russia: North Russian regions want extension of Arctic shipping route, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Northern Sweden expects population boom from green investments, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska politicians send Trudeau letter saying they’re “shocked” over Canada’s cruise ship ban, Eye on the Arctic

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