Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Iqaluit July 17, 2014 - 11:59 am

Parks Day in Nunavut’s capital cancelled due to dump smoke

“Public health and well-being are a priority to us"

Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, under clear skies. Concerned about the impact Iqaluit's dump smoke might have on participants, Nunavut Parks and Special Places has cancelled this year's Parks Day, scheduled for July 19. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS PHOTO)
Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park, under clear skies. Concerned about the impact Iqaluit's dump smoke might have on participants, Nunavut Parks and Special Places has cancelled this year's Parks Day, scheduled for July 19. (WIKIMEDIA COMMONS PHOTO)

The Iqaluit dump fire has claimed another victim.

Nunavut Parks and Special Places issued a news release July 17 saying the annual Parks Day celebration at Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park near Iqaluit, scheduled for July 19, has been cancelled.

“Public health and well-being are a priority to us,” said the news release. “Due to smoke from the dump, we have determined cancellation of the event as the most appropriate course of action.”

Nunavut Parks offered apologies for the cancellation and said Parks Day in Iqaluit will take place again next year.

Iqaluit’s dump has been smouldering since May 20.

The City of Iqaluit has put forth an elaborate plan to spray and dunk the smoking mass of garbage with sea water, hunk by hunk, until it’s been fully extinguished. They expect this will take about 50 days and cost an estimated $4.5 million.

They are awaiting approval, and hoping for money, from the Government of Nunavut and other government sources.

Meanwhile Iqalummiut continue to endure good and bad days, depending on whether wind is blowing smoke into, or away from, the city.

Environment Canada staff reported on preliminary air quality tests June 10 saying the largest concentrations of contaminants in the air drop to near normal levels just 70 metres from dump site.

But they did report “smoke spikes” or bodies of air containing contaminants, between one and five kilometres from the dump.

Detailed results from more sophisticated air quality testers located at four locations in Iqaluit have not yet been made public.

A July 4 public service announcement from the Government of Nunavut said, “to date, 24-hour average air pollution concentrations have been low and are below established health standards. There are occasional spikes in pollutant levels that are relatively short.”

People with respiratory ailments have been warned to limit their outdoor exposure, especially when it’s smoky in town.

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(11) Comments:

#1. Posted by Richard on July 17, 2014

Spend 4M$ to get an Aerial Firefighter. Efficient and something to look at.

#2. Posted by Not really on July 17, 2014

#1 No offense intended but that just seeems like a completely idiotic idea. This isn’t a forest fire.

#3. Posted by gosh on July 17, 2014

my gosh i know $4 million.

#4. Posted by Let it burn on July 17, 2014

This is not an issue and we have more pressing matters in our territory, which can use this money more wisely.  Peoples garbage is not a priority, the temporary visitors created this issue for us and the long term residents will survive the smoke now and again.

#5. Posted by do it somewhere else on July 17, 2014

But, our land is so big you can do the Parks day anywhere in Iqaluit, Apex Hill where there is no smoke from the dump, terrible excuse not to go on with it. Just saying.

#6. Posted by Temporary Foreign Worker on July 17, 2014

#4 you’re right, we created this problem. No one litters but us. We know you never make a mess. The communities are spotless except around our homes. Of course we live in the nicest homes. I know it really bugs you that they save them just for us.

Don’t worry, one day we will all leave. Ever single one of us. And it will all be yours again. With bags and bags of money stuffed into our pockets we will trod off into the sunset. Millionaires. Sad thing that the problem will still be yours. Don’t you think?

#7. Posted by @#6 on July 17, 2014

Are you telling us, that the longer you stay, the problem will not go away any time soon?

#8. Posted by Stewie on July 17, 2014

One would have thought that those derelict giant cylinders Transport Canada dumped at the park entrance and all the stockpiles of rusting barrels and heavy equipment Hanson moved over from their old industrial site at the location of the newly proposed airport entrance would deflect the dump smoke over park visitors heads?
Good to see the brainiacs at the agencies (Federal, Territorial and Municipal) involved with administering our park and wild lands are all on the same page.

#9. Posted by PW on July 18, 2014

Wow, mixed messages from the GN in this story. GN sent an announcement stating pollutants were below health standards, yet Parks (GN department) cancelled the event because peoples health are important to them So, what is it? Maybe the Premiere would like to clarify the announcement. GN department did not believe/trust the results of its own governments announcement… this is what I read of this story… not a unified front on its own information. If government is not unified who do we trust?

#10. Posted by save me ITK... on July 18, 2014

@4 Yeah garbage isn’t a priority at all. Let’s let it pile up all over the town, and to hell with the consequences.  What’s the worst that could happen? Increases in disease, vermin? Nah…let’s ignore reality, ITK will protect you…

#11. Posted by asu on July 18, 2014

Wow just move the event to another spot where it is more accesible to all,enough said.

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