Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit July 31, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Nunavut’s dumpcano remedy to be discussed Aug. 1

Even P.E.I. newspaper urging government to put the fire out

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
An Aug. 1 meeting between municipal, territorial and federal officials will likely result in a final solution for Iqaluit’s 72-day-old waste dump fire. (FILE PHOTO)
An Aug. 1 meeting between municipal, territorial and federal officials will likely result in a final solution for Iqaluit’s 72-day-old waste dump fire. (FILE PHOTO)

On the eve of an Aug. 1 meeting between municipal, territorial and federal officials that will likely result in a final solution for Iqaluit’s 72-day-old waste dump fire, the Nunavut government is reporting that the air in Nunavut’s capital is still smoky and potentially dangerous to human health.

A public health advisory issued July 31, with the latest air quality results from July 28, says that most air pollution concentrations remain low but that dioxins and furans — the more worrisome compounds — “continue to exceed the ambient air quality standard set in Ontario.”

But that Ontario standard, the advisory hastens to point out, “is considered to be very conservative.”

The Ontario standard is used because Nunavut does not have official air quality regulations.

Officials will be meeting in Iqaluit on Friday to discuss the latest remedy — a $2.2 million plan to dig into the smouldering mass of garbage and soak it in sea water “like a bathtub,” Iqaluit’s fire chief Luc Grandmaison said recently, describing the plan to city councillors.

And while mainstream and alternative media in southern Canada continue to cover Iqaluit’s ongoing “dumpcano” saga as a news story, Prince Edward Island’s Guardian newspaper actually weighed in on the subject in a July 30 editorial entitled “Enough is enough: put the fire out.”

“There comes a point when money cannot be the determining factor in government action, especially when examples of government waste could easily fill many landfill sites in this country,” it reads.

“This is Canada and it is the year 2014 — putting out this dump fire must be made a priority. One wonders how long such a fire would be allowed to belch its toxins if the smoke was wafting over the Peace Tower or the CN Tower?”

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