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NNSL Photo/Graphic

Lou Spagnuolo, contaminated sites project officer for INAC, and Harry Flaherty, project director for Qikiqtaaluk Corp., go over a map of Resolution Island. - Neils Christensen/NNSL photo

Cleanup tab at $11 million

Neils Christensen
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (June 14/04) - Indian and Northern Affairs plans to spend $11 million this summer to clean up Resolution Island.

Contractor Qikiqtaaluk Corporation has a crew scheduled to arrive in mid June to set up camp for the summer. Resolution Island, a former U.S. military base is considered to be the most contaminated site in Nunavut.

Lou Spagnuolo, contaminated site project officer for INAC, said in 2003 workers were able to clean up about 40 per cent of the contaminated soil or about 2,000 cubic metres.

"We're excited about where are with the project," he said. "Last year we saw the first shipment of contaminated soil transported down south."

Harry Flaherty, project director for the Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, said the cleanup has provided Nunavummiut with training opportunities.

"The direct results from the cleanup, is having a ready workforce here in Nunavut," he said. Flaherty added that over the years they have been able to train people in number of career areas including, management, carpentry, welding, heavy duty mechanic and even a helicopter pilot.

Flaherty added they have been able to train more Inuit workers.

"In 2003 88 per cent of our workforce was Inuit," he said. "We give people the chance to work in a variety of fields. We introduce them to the workforce."

Flaherty said there is also a huge economic benefit to Nunavut. This year the federal department projects $1.3 million will be injected into the Iqaluit economy.