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The federal minister of infrastructure and communities, Amarjeet Sohi, speaks at a funding announcement event in Iqaluit May 3. Ottawa will put 141.57 million into basic infrastructure for a list of 19 hamlets, while the Government of Nunavut will throw in another $55.7 million. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

Hunter Tootoo (right), the independent MP for Nunavut, did not speak at a May 3 event in Iqaluit that announced new money for infrastructure in 19 Nunavut hamlets. But he managed to work himself into a photo with Joe Savikataaq (left), the Nunavut minister of Community and Government Services, and Amarjeet Sohi, the federal minister of infrastructure and services. (PHOTO BY STEVE DUCHARME)

New money is coming down the pipe for improvements to water, wastewater and landfill infrastructure in 19 Nunavut communities, following an announcement May 3 of joint funding by the federal and Nunavut governments worth more than $230 million.

Canada minister of infrastructure and communities, Amarjeet Sohi, officially announced the funding at the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, saying the money helps fund nine projects spanning 19 Nunavut communities.

will build 21st century infrastructure that prepares other communities to meet today unique challenges and be prosperous for generations to come, he said.

Ottawa will give the Government of Nunavut about $30.9 million from its Clean Water and Wastewater Fund and about $141.57 million from its Small Communities fund, totaling about $172.52 million.

Sanikiluaq, a Nunavut hamlet on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay, struggled with high levels of sodium and E. coli bacteria in its water supply last year symptom of its aging water infrastructure.

Hudson Bay MLA Allan Rumbolt has spent a lot of time in Nunavut legislature lobbying Savikataaq for a new sewage lagoon in his community.

Sanikiluaq is listed on three of the proposed projects benefitting from the funding and is designated to receive water infrastructure upgrades, portable water supply units and landfill upgrades.

Since June last year, residents have had to use water filters, installed and paid for by the CGS Department, to get potable water from their household faucets.

Savikataaq told Nunatsiaq News in a media scrum that his department spent between $600,000 and $900,000 to address the high sodium and E. coli outbreaks in Sanikiluaq last year alone.

As for a new sewage lagoon, Sanikiluaq many other communities looking to upgrade have to find a workaround for new federal regulations from Transport Canada that prevent any new construction, Savikataaq said.

won permit a new one to be built less than four kilometres from a runway and every sewage lagoon in Nunavut is less than four kilometres from a runway, Savikataaq said, adding that Transport Canada has twice turned down applications for exemption permits submitted by the GN.
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