A new, small craft harbour promised to Clyde River, Nunavut, from the federal government may come to fruition in the next few years.
A construction contract for the harbour — valued at nearly $38 million — was awarded to Pilitak Enterprises Ltd. of Iqaluit, according to a news release Tuesday from the federal government.
Construction is expected to start this summer and will continue over the next three years, the release said. The harbour should be operational by 2026.
A harbour was promised to Clyde River back in 2019 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans during a funding announcement. The community had been pushing for new harbour infrastructure for years before that.
"Small craft harbours are key to thriving coastal communities," said Joyce Murray, minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard in a statement Tuesday. "The new harbour will create opportunities for sustainable commercial fishing operations and marine mammal harvesting,"
The contract contains an Inuit Benefits Plan which is meant to support local training and employment.
The federal government said the new harbour should make access to the sea safer, and provide jobs and "economic opportunities" to the community, especially during the traditional fishing and marine mammal harvesting season.
It's also hoped the infrastructure will speed up the delivery of goods to Clyde River, and enhance the "potential for tourism and other economic and social activities."
The new harbour is tied to the Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Conservation Area and the Tuvaijuittuq Marine Protected Area.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada will manage the construction and maintenance of the harbour, the release said.