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Government of Canada invests in sustainable water infrastructure for Iqaluit

01 April 2022

News release

Government of Canada invests in sustainable water infrastructure for Iqaluit

Iqaluit, Nunavut, April 1st, 2022— Reliable infrastructure is key to building stronger communities. Significant weather-related disasters triggered by climate change can pose a serious threat to health and safety of Canadians, create interruptions in essential services, and cause significant disruptions to local economies. In the North, the effects of a melting permafrost and severe and frequent droughts are having a major impact on communities and residents. As an increasing number of Canadians experience natural hazards and extreme weather events, the Government of Canada continues to make important investments to help communities across Canada mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Today, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada; the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs; the Honourable P.J. Akeeagok, Premier of Nunavut; and His Worship Kenny Bell, Mayor of the City of Iqaluit, announced federal funding of over $214 million through the Disaster and Mitigation Adaptation Fund to ensure the safety and long-term sustainability of Iqaluit’s water supply system.

This project will improve the City of Iqaluit’s water supply system through the excavation and creation of a new reservoir adjacent to Lake Geraldine as well as improve the city’s water distribution system. The new reservoir will draw water from one of two long-term alternative sources, providing the required capacity to meet the increasing needs of the population and support economic growth. The new and upgraded infrastructure will be designed and built to mitigate current and future impacts of climate change.
Once complete, it is expected that all residents in the City of Iqaluit will have reliable access to clean drinking water through this improved supply, storage, and major distribution infrastructure components. Additionally, the project will significantly reduce economic losses and disruptions in the community created by water shortages.

Federal funding is conditional on fulfilling all requirements related to consultation with Indigenous groups and/or environmental assessment.

Quotes

“Everyone deserves safe, reliable, clean drinking water in their community. In Iqaluit, you know first-hand that reliable infrastructure is key to withstanding the impacts of climate change like melting permafrost and coastal erosion, as well as ensuring that everyone has access to clean water. Today’s announcement will make Iqaluit stronger and more resilient in the face of climate change, and provide Iqalummiut with a safe, clean supply of water for decades to come.”
The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Every day, Northerners feel the impacts of climate change. Its consequences are felt more acutely and rapidly than in other parts of Canada. With the creation of a new water reservoir and major upgrades to Iqaluit’s water distribution system, the city’s residents will get the access to potable water they need and be more resilient in the face of climate change.” The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities “Ensuring safe, clean drinking water for everyone is a top priority of our government and our partners in Iqaluit and across Nunavut. Today’s significant investment provides the City of Iqaluit the resources for a much needed long-term solution to their drinking water supply, storage and distribution. Our government will continue to work with the Government of Nunavut, the City of Iqaluit and Indigenous partners to support the community any way we can – especially as needs arise. This includes support to close infrastructure gaps and to mitigate the ever-increasing challenges posed by climate change. Together, we are building healthier, safer and more prosperous communities in the North and Arctic.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs

“Access to safe, clean, water is a right that should be available to any community. I’m thankful to the Government of Canada for addressing this urgent need and pleased to have assisted the City of Iqaluit in lobbying for this investment. Improving Iqaluit’s water infrastructure will be essential in paving the way for more homes in the City to address Nunavut’s growing housing gap.”
The Honourable P.J. Akeeagok, Premier of Nunavut

“I am elated and beyond thankful to the Government of Canada, not only for listening to our request, but for truly hearing us and taking the critical action required to address the long term water crisis that has been impacting Iqalummiut. This announcement is a game changer for the City of Iqaluit and represents important and tangible steps towards addressing critical issues including water shortages, housing and development limitations faced by Iqalummiut and Nunavummiut. Thank you for your investment, in our future and our wellbeing.”
His Worship Kenny Bell, Mayor of the City of Iqaluit

Quick facts
• The DMAF was launched in 2018 as a $2 billion, 10-year program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts. Budget 2021 provided the DMAF with an additional $1.375 billion over 12 years. • The DMAF is part of the federal government’s Investing in Canada Plan, which is providing more than $180 billion over 12 years for public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and rural and northern communities.
• To date, over $1.9 billion has been announced through the DMAF for 69 large-scale infrastructure projects that will help protect communities across the country from the threats of climate change.

Associated links

Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/dmaf-faac/index-eng.html

Investing in COVID-19 Community Resilience
https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/covid-19-resilience-eng.html

Investing in Canada: Canada’s Long-Term Infrastructure Plan
http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/icp-publication-pic-eng.html

Investing in Canada plan project map
http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/gmap-gcarte/index-eng.html

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Contacts

Jean-Sébastien Comeau
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor Office of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
343-574-8116
jean-sebastien.comeau@iga-aig.gc.ca

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs
819-953-1153
kyle.allen@rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca

Sima Sahar Zerehi
Press Secretary to Premier Akeeagok
Government of Nunavut
867-222-5344 or 867-975-5059
szerehi6@gov.nu.ca

Aleksey Cameron
Communications and Customer Service Manager
City of Iqaluit
867-979-5607
a.cameron@iqaluit.ca

Media Relations
Infrastructure Canada
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