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Don't mess with fuel: hunter

Jillian Dickens
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Dec 12/05) - Elijah Amarook says if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

The Baker Lake Hunters and Trappers acting secretary/manager is referring to Nunavut's fuel supply.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Natar Ungalaaq fills up his friend's snowmachine in Iglulik last February. The Nunavut government recently tabled a fuel quality report on last year's spark plug malfunctions. - NNSL file photo

Levinia Brown, Community and Government Services minister, tabled a report last week in the legislature outlining what went wrong when snowmachine spark plugs fouled last winter.

The independent investigation pointed to high octane fuel, which contributes to spark plug fouling in extreme cold and the absence of MMT, a fuel additive, as sources of the problem.

The report called on the government to reassess the need for high octane fuel and to explore joint-venture research initiatives with partners like the Alberta Research Council, major refiners and snowmobile manufactures to determine the fuel needs for Nunavut.

Brown said in the legislature the department would carry out these recommendations.

Amarook thinks that would be a waste.

"Wouldn't it be easier to go back to the old way of things? It would be cheaper, too, rather than spending thousands on research and committees," he stated.

The 2001 fuel supply caused mechanical failure in snow machines, prompting the Petroleum Products Division to revamp its approach to fuel supply.

Among changes was the development of new fuel quality specifications for Nunavut.

Before 2001 there were no problems with fuel fouling spark plugs, said Amarook.

"It was good from day one, until about four years ago," he said.

"My two-cent thought is there was nothing wrong with the gas until they started fiddling around with it," he said.

"For the northern part of Canada they should have thought of the effect it would have to change the gas octane and the additive."

The report also recommends a complaints protocol and that the Petroleum Products Division be reviewed for efficiency and effectiveness.