Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Iqaluit February 13, 2018 - 2:30 pm

INAC says Iqaluit daycare not reserved for federal workers

"Let’s hope that’s true,” says Coun. Joanasie Akumalik

BETH BROWN
The approved site of the future INAC-funded 60-child daycare in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)
The approved site of the future INAC-funded 60-child daycare in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)

Iqaluit’s upcoming new INAC-funded 60-child daycare won’t be reserved for the children of federal employees, department spokesperson Spencer Dewar told Iqaluit city councillors Feb. 8 during an update to the committee responsible for planning and lands. 

“It’s going to be a community daycare and it’s going to be run by a society. INAC is putting money forward for the capital project to build the infrastructure. We don’t envision earmarking any spots for federal employees,” Dewar said, responding to Deputy Mayor Romeyn Stevenson, who asked directly if INAC employees would receive priority for daycare space.

“Let’s hope that’s true,” Coun. Joanasie Akumalik said. 

The discussion of daycare spots arose from a project update from Dewar, telling councillors that previous city concerns regarding the project have been addressed.

Following the update, councillors voted to approve a development permit for the daycare, to be built at the corner of Niaqunngusiaq Rd. (the road to Apex) and Paunna Rd.

Akumalik noted that traffic congestion at the site, which would be developed along with the new Joamie Court subdivision, was the main concern originally cited by councillors.

To lessen traffic congestion in the future subdivision, road access to the daycare will be on side roads, some of which have yet to be built. 

“They’ve proposed to build the first 40 to 50 metres of that road,” city planning consultant Michelle Armstrong said.

The developers of the daycare also made changes to accommodate space for a snowmobile trail that would have been interrupted by a planned fenced-in play area.

The daycare is to be run by the Tundra Buddies Daycare Society, who have partnered with INAC to make more quality daycare available to families in Iqaluit.

The facility will employee 12 people, and will be the largest daycare in Nunavut.

Coun. Terry Dobbin noted that a woman he knows recently had to leave Iqaluit because she could not secure suitable daycare.

Given the current lack of daycare in the city and the high cost of the service, he asked if 60 spots would be enough.

“It would certainly help. I don’t think it would solve all of our problems, but it would certainly go a long way in providing much needed childcare,” Dewar said.

Akumalik and Stevenson continued to repeat concerns that the objectives of the daycare could change over time, through turnover on the society’s parent-run board. 

“I’m hoping that what is presented is going to work. At the end of the day we need that daycare,” Akumalik said.

In October, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association increased its childcare subsidy by five dollars each day for Baffin Inuit who have children attending a licensed daycare.

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(15) Comments:

#1. Posted by Cabin fever on February 13, 2018

What , a beautiful picture of summer

#2. Posted by Sean on February 13, 2018

We used to live at house #474!

#3. Posted by sled dog on February 13, 2018

yes, Councillors, objectives do and can change depending on the charter of the society. Just ensure the Board cannot change the charter without significant membership approval.

change happens, get over it

Akumalik and Stevenson continued to repeat concerns that the objectives of the daycare could change over time, through turnover on the society’s parent-run board.

#4. Posted by What's the principle at stake here? on February 13, 2018

Sorry, I don’t understand what the issue is here. For example, does the daycare at the high school prioritize children of high school students? Would that be a problem?

If INAC wants to take direct action to help its employees access daycare, why is that bad?

If there’s some kind of principle at stake here beyond good old fashion populism or resentment of government, I’m not seeing it.

#5. Posted by Gord on February 14, 2018

#4 You should know by now if you have lived long enough in Iqaluit that any program put in my place discrimination is only acceptable if it benefits the locals. Yet they will still complain.

#6. Posted by Murphy on February 14, 2018

#5 that’s nice of you to say, it sure helps the reconciliation and after all that has gone on this week, you would think some people’s way of thinking would open up. I guess not.

#7. Posted by Gord on February 14, 2018

#6 I just stated a fact, no opinions!

#8. Posted by Katie K on February 14, 2018

Do some councillors really think with 60 new spaces all daycare issues will be solved?

#9. Posted by Paula on February 15, 2018

Katie K .. that is 60 more problems solved, which is better than not having 60 problems solved. even in cities down south there is a shortage of daycare spots, so stop being so negative!

#10. Posted by facts on February 15, 2018

#4, Yes priority is given to the High School students at the High School daycare, as well as to teachers from all the schools.

#11. Posted by Murphy on February 15, 2018

That is your opinion Gord, show us the facts if you have any, your word does not count as facts.

#12. Posted by Paul Murphy on February 16, 2018

# 6 & 11. Wise words indeed Murphy. But just so I don’t get all the credit (or flak), in future can you include your first name as well. lol

#13. Posted by G Murphy on February 16, 2018

lol sorry Paul!

#14. Posted by Realist on February 17, 2018

Discrimination is okay if it benefits you, we’ll call this reconciliation.

Got it now…

And than you for articulating my last 10 years of observation.

#15. Posted by Honestly on February 17, 2018

You need another 10 years to start to really get an idea, a short time like that you really don’t understand.

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