Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut August 08, 2017 - 11:45 am

Western Nunavut town seeks parental help to reduce youth vandalism

"Talk to your children about vandalism"

JANE GEORGE
Expensive and difficult to clean up: waste oil in a drainage ditch near the site of a 2013 spill on the property of Kitnuna Corp. in Cambridge Bay, which occurred after some teenage vandals left a valve open. (FILE PHOTO)
Expensive and difficult to clean up: waste oil in a drainage ditch near the site of a 2013 spill on the property of Kitnuna Corp. in Cambridge Bay, which occurred after some teenage vandals left a valve open. (FILE PHOTO)

The Municipality of Cambridge Bay wants parents to help stop the latest wave of costly vandalism in this western Nunavut community of about 1,700 people.

“Please talk to your children about vandalism in town. There have been numerous incidents in the community in the past 2 weeks that have been expensive and have lead to environmental issues,” the municipality said an open letter posted to Facebook.

The letter urged parents to speak to their children so that they learn to respect private property and the land.

“Please also let them know that all the money we use to clean up these incidents leaves less money to put in the areas we want to put it into, like parks and recreation,” the letter said.

“And please let them know they can help by telling us if they see someone committing vandalism.”

Sources in the community told Nunatsiaq News that a group of youth—some who are quite young—are thought to be responsible for several recent incidents, including a spill of an estimated 13,000 litres of a dust control chemical, EK35, worth about $260,000, at the Cambridge Bay airport reported to police July 26.

The chemical is not considered hazardous, but crews still had to work to keep the spill from reaching the bay.

A mention of another spill, near the North Warning Station’s tank farm, also cropped up on Facebook in late July.

“Too many valves are being opened at different locations,” Cambridge Bay Mayor Jeannie Ehaloak said in a comment when the open letter to parents was first posted to the Cambridge Bay News Facebook page last week.

“This has become an environmental hazard.”

Another post from a woman asked whether the town planned to hire a bylaw officer to work at night, but Ehaloak said such a part-time position has been hard to fill.

“It’s time to work as a community and look out for each other,” Ehaloak said.

It’s not the first time that youth vandalism has led to a spill in Cambridge Bay.

In 2013, some teenagers turned on the valve on a container, which held up about 11,000 litres of waste oil—and then walked away—leading to a massive cleanup effort.

Residents who see acts of vandalism in Cambridge Bay or who have information to share about the recent dust suppressant spill can call the RCMP detachment at 867-983-0123.

Tips can also be provided anonymously at Crimestoppers by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online here.

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