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Sakku cut from health centre work

Nunavut government hands project to public works and services

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Oct 02/02) - The Nunavut government has dropped the Sakku Investment Corp. from the Rankin Inlet Regional Health Centre project.

Finance Minister Kelvin Ng said the project will now be handled through the Department of Public Works and Services.

"The negotiations (with Sakku) turned into a back-and-forth process which was taking forever and we felt, as a government, this was the best decision to move the project along," said Ng.

"If the project is to go ahead with any chance of meeting the time lines we want, the government had to take it over."

Cutting the Sakku Investment Corp. loose from the project will increase its overall cost. Ng said a final dollar figure on the government's decision to take over the project should be known by the end of the month.

"There is value on the work Sakku has done to date, which the Nunavut government will be assuming.

"Plus, Sakku will receive a reasonable return on that work."

At this juncture, how quickly the health centre proceeds will depend mainly on how expeditiously Sakku provides the GN with information pertaining to the project. Ng said a delay in the flow of information could jeopardize the process.

"There's no doubt Sakku could still significantly delay the project, but I don't think the public would support that.

"They've (Sakku) indicated to us that they want to move on from here and that's what we want to do."

The GN is aiming at having design work completed by the end of the calendar year and a tender package ready early in the new year.

Ng said an option is in place for the Nunavut government to assume the land lease for the site.

He said the GN will make an interim payment to the hamlet of Rankin Inlet as soon as possible, and a final payment as soon as it secures the final land requirements.

"We're going to put all the required resources into the health-centre project to ensure it happens, particularly now that the onus falls directly on the government of Nunavut to deliver it.

"The GN has made a political commitment to the project which we intend to deliver on."