Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 03, 2014 - 7:10 am

Nunavut tourism operator forced to abandon floe edge camp

Some people miffed about supplies left on Pond Inlet ice floe

Tourism operator Arctic Kingdom said its staff had to quickly relocate when the ice under a camp set up at the floe edge starting to break. Now, the company said it's still in the process of cleaning up supplies it left behind.
Tourism operator Arctic Kingdom said its staff had to quickly relocate when the ice under a camp set up at the floe edge starting to break. Now, the company said it's still in the process of cleaning up supplies it left behind.

Nunavut tourism operator Arctic Kingdom said an emergency forced the company to leave supplies and equipment sitting by a floe edge outside Pond Inlet last month.

A number of photos circulated on social media earlier this week, showing plywood sheets, gas canisters, plastic crates and other building supplies strewn across an ice floe.

That caused a reaction from Nunavummiut across the territory, who demanded to know why the company had abandoned the material.

But Arctic Kingdom says the photos were taken when its staff were in the process of relocating a tourist camp for safety reasons.

Company president Graham Dickson said staff had camped on the ice floe ahead of its June 20 Narwhal and Polar Bear safari tour when, at about 2:00 a.m. that morning, large cracks began to appear in the ice below.

Staff began to pack up the camp with the help of local hunters.

“We immediately responded to the situation as safely and as efficiently as we could,” the company said in a June 30 statement. “Crews were able to disassemble and move much of the camp to a safer location, shuttling back and forth to rescue as much equipment as possible.”

Arctic Kingdom said its staff and crew suffered no injuries in the camp relocation process. There were no clients on site at the time, although the company was able to resume its floe edge tour on a more secure section of ice.

Over the next week, staff were able to retrieve more supplies and equipment, providing compensation to local hunters who helped salvage the material.

Workers continue to return to the former camp site to remove any remaining materials, Dickson said.

Dickson said the photos that circulated “misrepresented” the situation and were likely taken early on in the relocation.

‘We think we’ll be able to recoup 96 to 98 per cent of everything, and we hope to do it safely,” said Dickson, who noted the old camp is now free floating. “We take it very seriously.”

The Government of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development and Transportation said July 2 that it is making inquiries into the incident.

A number of local organizations in Pond Inlet said that they’re waiting to receive more information about what happened at the camp, said to be about 50 miles from the Baffin community.

Tununiq MLA Joe Enook said he was sent some of the floe edge photos over the last few days, but didn’t have enough information to determine what had actually happened.

“If there’s any real worry, we’ll let the local organizations deal with it,” he said. “If they need my assistance, I’m more than happy to help.”

It’s not the first trouble on ice the company has faced; in 2013, a group of travellers taking part in Arctic Kingdom’s Northwest Passage package found themselves stranded when the piece of ice they were camped on broke away from the floe edge in Admiralty Inlet near Arctic Bay.

That triggered an emergency response from the Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Trenton, Ont., which sent a Hercules aircraft to drop supplies for the 20 stranded tourists and 10 Inuit hunters.

Members of the group were soon picked up and returned to Arctic Bay.

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(25) Comments:

#1. Posted by Hypocrites on July 03, 2014

Take a look around at all the garbage and junk strewn about any community in Nunavut. Yet you all decide to get up in arms when a viable business that actually contributes to the economy must abandon some supplies in an emergency situation?

#2. Posted by tired of Trash on July 03, 2014

those south people are making a lot of money in Nunavut that they spend somewhere else he should get a fine that is big enough to make sure they stop doing that the Pond Inlet is only one situation they are leaving stuff behind everywhere and btw did you ever saw them investing in our community? no the money is going back to Toronto this company is a joke and are taking advantage and charging thousands of dollars for every trip paying the hunter barely nothing and the boss is the one making all the cash ,

#3. Posted by snapshot on July 03, 2014

heheheh, nobody really can’t say anything after reading the first post, including me:P

#4. Posted by laughing at the hypocrites on July 03, 2014

#1 is right, every community in Nunavut is covered in crap and garbage and they have the nerve about some stuff left because of a life-threatening emergency?

Clean up your used pampers and empty liquor bottles from your own friggin streets before criticising somebody else. You could start by managing your dump sites in Nunavut, everyone one of them is a long term environmental hazard…

This guy is hardworking businessman who has developed a tourism product that people want to buy. You think it is easy to do what he does? Start your own tour company and find out what it’s like.

#5. Posted by monty sling on July 03, 2014

#1, this is world probable; a mess in communities. leaving s**t on the floe edge and tundra is blatant taking advantage knowing people like you will come to their defence for the sake of mighty $$$. what economy? some uncaring company in toronto with support of someone like you? you have no idea what floe edge or tundra is do you?

#6. Posted by concerned on July 03, 2014

They had a boat ( dingy) and Kyak’s, they should have come back and clean up the site,and there’s a helicopter in Pond Inlet, they should have used that too

#7. Posted by Liquor really? on July 03, 2014

Is it just me or is no one else noticing the champagne bottle in the left guys hand? Are they even allowed booze on these trips? Could having alcohol on the excursions be affecting their decision making?

#8. Posted by np on July 03, 2014

Good catch #7…..those two fellas in the picture look pretty happy…

#9. Posted by Subliminal Message Backward Pop is Pop on July 03, 2014

If the News was about our dump site in the communities, then I would have strongly agree with the comments that you have made, but this article is explaining about the carelessness of these companies, this surely could have been a catastrophe on the environment. So now this defensive Company, who do not want to get a fine or a lawsuit, Arctic Kingdom, is saying they did not just leave these items, in which this is a fact, that they have done this in the past, in Igloolik.

#10. Posted by Northern Inuit on July 03, 2014

I don’t read syllabics, does that say B.Y.O.B?

I hope they can clean up the mess that was left behind.  I’m all for equal employment opportunity.  just don’t be too harsh on the land and make sure you leave it as you saw it.

#11. Posted by Joseewales on July 03, 2014

Are there any GN Laws, policies or regulations that they should be charging this outfit for endangering their clients or employees due to them doing this (staying at the flow edge knowing well that there is danger in ice breaking off from the main body)? I do not know how many times they have done the same thing in the past but sounds like they feel they could do anything to the environment or endanger their clients/employees and get away with it.
I sure hope the GN will do their fiduciary duty as this is setting a precedent for the future. In the future will GN turn a blind eye to possible huge oil/gas disasters?

#12. Posted by Look around folks on July 03, 2014

Have a good look around the area you live in and tell me what we are doing is ok?????  Have you seen the Iqaluit beach there is so much trash I can’t believe it.  There are tires, ski-doo, boats, and shacks all along the beach that people just leave there and they don’t pay anything to have it there. 

It’s a dumping ground and no one has ever done anything about it.  It’s one of the saddest looking beaches in the world.  Why don’t people nitpick about that?  I am looking outside my window right now and I see old bed mattresses that have been there for god knows how long.  I see old ski-doo and cars just left there. 

WE HAVE TRASH ALL OVER THE PLACE.  We even have an annual garbage picking day and we get paid to pick up other peoples trash.  I really wish they would do something about the Iqaluit beach its prime location and we are using it for a dumping ground.

#13. Posted by Iqaluit resident on July 03, 2014

I think it is about time that the Government of Nunavut looks at Nunavut Tourism entirely.
A LOT of money is given to them, and what are they really accomplishing.
I don’t think anyone knows what they are actually doing for Nunavut.

#14. Posted by Happy today is another day on July 03, 2014

Okay so #1, your income is most likely involved in the company, if not your spouse. There are only a handful that profit from the company; the ones that are guiding the tourist.  When there are guides in the past that lost their snowmobiles in the expeditions and Arctic Kingdom looks away and pretend it never happened.  All in all the company is pocketing money and pushing around the local guides to do whatever the company pleases. I never got to get another snowmobile from them nor the other guy whom snowmobile broke down.  The guys that are in charge of the tourism have a taste for power, especially out on the land,  they become the Bosses of the land or sea in this case.  If these guys on the picture were able to access the items left behind by the company, than there was no immediate danger or the business should have at least went back to pick up their garbage.

#15. Posted by Laughing at the hypocrites on July 03, 2014

Stupid quote from #14 “I never got to get another snowmobile from them nor the other guy whom snowmobile broke down.”

Your snowmobile is your responsibility not the company that hired you. Did you read your contract? Did it say they have to buy you a new snowmobile if your machine breaks down? No? Didn’t think so.

Next time, get an insurance policy for your snowmobile. Ever hear of that concept, “insurance.” No? Didn’t think so. Besides, your whining about your snowmobile has nothing to do with the garbage on the ice, zero, nada, nothing. It’s irrelevant.

This is just a bunch of stoners and losers with the mentality of little children trying to spread dirt so they can blackmail the company into giving them new snowmobiles.

#16. Posted by Iqaluit resident who can read on July 03, 2014

#13 Iqaluit resident - I really think you need to read the article again. This article is about Arctic Kingdom not Nunavut Tourism. They weren’t even mentioned in the article. You must have voted for the 40 million dollar pool too I bet.

#17. Posted by pond resident on July 03, 2014

thanks arctic kingdom for all the cool stuff smile

#18. Posted by Crystal Clarity on July 03, 2014

Whether it is a tour operator, companies or individuals, we all need to make more of an effort to clean up our garbage. Paper, plastic bags, old wood, oil drums, broken down snowmobiles, skidoos, trucks,piles of scrap wood no one ever uses,  matresses, you name it you’ll find it around town, workplaces, houses, on the land, left on top of the ice of lakes and the ocean in the winter and sinking to the bottom or floating along shorelines after the melt.

We are pretty much all guilty. Clean up after yourself!!!!!! People should be fined for this kind of stuff like they are in the south. When they started handing out fines in the 60’s in the south it made a huge difference.

#19. Posted by Junkyard Mutt Dog on July 03, 2014

Wow, junkyard everywhere here in my homeland of Nunavut.  Junk, junk and more junk.  Come spring, all the garbage really start showing up.  How friggin careless and messy and even dirty can we get?  For crying out loud, clean around your garbage bin when ravens, dogs and seagulls make a mess and don’t wait for others to do it for you!

#20. Posted by Local resident on July 03, 2014

They only took 40% of what they brought, they abandoned the rest of the stuff!

The ice arctic kingdom was on was not yet a life threatening danger or Emergency,  if they stayed it could have become that. But they manged to leave quite fast, they didn’t just move camp they left and came to town leaving 60% of the stuff on the ice.

Local residents of course took what they could since arctic kingdom left it all,they had no interest in it as it appeared…they left it and didn’t go back for it right away.

Only when residents of pond start to share what kind of mess they left and once it started attracting media attention arctic kingdom took the action of trying to scavenge what they could. This happened over a week ago and arctic kingdom just arrived on July 2 to attemp to pick up the mess. This is after the entire crew left pond inlet to go back south where they all work or live.

#21. Posted by Peter on July 04, 2014

All hamlets do not have landfills, only dumps, everything is thrown in there from plastics to paints, batteries you name it. There is no plan in place to change this, the GN or the Feds look away, it is a shame.

#22. Posted by Floedge Hunter on July 04, 2014

Some one took these pictures after they went back to Pond Inlet and never came to salvage..Local hunters saw the floating ice with lots of stuff so they went down to investigate and took the pictures..I hope this wouldn’t happen again since it happen twice.

#23. Posted by Denise Bélanger on July 04, 2014

A bulk store of dry goods help reduce packaging and saves money.  The store could be called, niqi paniqtuq
ᓂᕿ ᐸᓂᖅᑐᖅ .  Did I use the correct words for Dry Food?

#24. Posted by Localtourism on July 05, 2014

Why are these guys being used, if they are not good corporate citizens.

We have other Outfitters who are from the communities so why is a southern Company representing the North to visitors?  Pretty freaky, I say.

Use the know-how of local tourism companies and outfitters and you would not have this kind of trouble.  They know ice conditions better and work with people in their own community better.

The Arctic Kingdoms of this world only look good to tourists who do not realize they know little if anything about what they are doing up here.

#25. Posted by past traveller on July 16, 2014

I was a past traveller with Arctic kingdom on a floe edge trip to Pond Inlet and they run a top notch operation.
They use local outfitters like Seattie Tagag and I got to know many local guides who are also hunters when they are not guiding with Arctic Kingdom.  By being on this trip along with hunters I changed my perception of what hunting was all about.  I wasn’t there to see what they did in this situation, but what I do know, is that they love Nunavut, the land, the wildlife, the people and take real care in teaching tourists like myself, the importance of hunting to the Inuit and showing the beauty of the floe edge.

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