Ship part

MP for Pond Inlet asks how the community can seek benefits for cruise ship traffic

Pond Inlet MPP Karen Nutarak is concerned about the influx of visitors to her community of about 1,600 people.

Cruise ships carrying about 4,800 passengers are scheduled to call at Pond Inlet, Nunavut, which sits at the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage this summer.

This is after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, which led to cruise ships being banned from Canadian Arctic waters.

This year, Nutarak wants to make sure Pond Inlet residents get more out of the return of cruise ships.

She asked Territorial Economic Development Minister David Akeeagok last Friday in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly how Nunavut is preparing for the return of cruise ships to its waters.

Akeeagok confirmed to Nutarak that “cruise ships are coming to Nunavut”, although he was unable to provide much more information to Nutarak. He said the division of his department that works on cruise ships is not “complete”.

ATMs could be useful, suggests MLA

Twelve cruise ships made 21 separate trips to Nunavut waters between July 2019 and September 2019, according to the Government of Nunavut’s annual tourism report 2018-2019.

This year, 14 cruise ships and five private yachts will come to Pond Inlet during this 2022 season, said a recent briefing paper from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

The Seabourn Venture is among the ships due to arrive in the hamlet on September 24. It will carry approximately 260 passengers, 120 crew members and an ice navigator on board. This will be the cruise ship’s first port upon arrival in Canada.

Transport Canada requires that passengers and crew be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and that the company has a COVID management plan in place.

Once authorities clear the ship, passengers will disembark in small groups for a community visit, says a document Seabourn filed with the Nunavut Planning Commission.

But, to make it easier for arts and crafts vendors in Pond Inlet to sell to international cruise ship visitors, hand-held ATMs would be helpful, Nutarak said during Question Period in the Legislative Assembly.

Nutarak added that she wants to see more Inuit employed by cruises.

Planned infrastructure improvements

On June 3, during National Tourism Week, Dan Vandal, the federal Minister of Northern Affairs, announced four projects for Pond Inlet, Arctic Bay, the Kivalliq Region and Cambridge Bay “to help the industry get out of the covid”.

Pond Inlet will receive $500,000 to improve visitor infrastructure, widening the access road to the Salmon River, constructing a gravel path along the Salmon River and erecting a lookout at the existing destination sign.

“This funding will allow approximately 4,800 cruise ship tourists to explore and enjoy the Salmon River while visiting Pond Inlet,” Pond Inlet Community Economic Development Officer Theresa Dalueg said in a statement. CanNor.