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Small boat launch for Pond Inlet
Breakwater and full-access harbour too expensive: minister

Peter Worden
Northern News Services
Published Monday, March 25, 2013

After more than two decades of pushing for a boat launch in Pond Inlet, local hunters and trappers will at long last have a faster, easier, safer means of launching and landing their small craft.

"It will help hunters definitely because it's hard hauling in a boat or to launch it. Otherwise you anchor it out on the water which is very difficult and dangerous," said Joshua Arreak on behalf of the Hunter and Trappers Organization, adding that the beach where most small craft operators currently launch their boats is sandy and trailers are known to get stuck.

"The water's not always calm. Sometimes it's really rough so we have to quickly haul them in to the shore. This will make life easier for us."

Last June, Economic Development and Transportation Minister Peter Taptuna was invited to see the marine front in the hamlet, which will be granted $19,200 from the department's small craft harbours budget to cover the new launch.

Initially, the hamlet and many hunters had hoped for a breakwater and full-access harbour, which had been estimated at costing more than $40 million.

For now, the simpler, less expensive boat launch will have to suffice, said Taptuna, who during the spring sitting of the legislature called the lack of proper land-sea access "a major deficit that hinders economic development in Nunavut."

Last fall an engineer visited the hamlet to inspect the shoreline for a suitable location for the launch, which should be completed this summer, but no plans have been drawn up yet.

"Community members are happy that something is being done about the infrastructure," said Colin Saunders, Pond Inlet economic development officer.

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