Iqaluit’s water treatment plant is seen in this May 2023 file photo. A vote by city council later this month could see a reduction in water rates charged to residential users. (File phot by Jeff Pelletier)JEFF PELLETIER

Iqaluit city councillors say residents can expect relief on their water bills soon.

A bylaw to adjust water rates charged by the city was unanimously approved on first and second readings by council at its meeting Tuesday night.

If the bylaw receives final approval later this month, residential rates would be cut in half, to one cent per litre from the current two cents.

“I’m very much looking forward to providing some relief for our residents to reduce water bills across our city,” said Coun. Kyle Sheppard.

He added the city continues to encourage residents to conserve water as much as possible, both for the “health” of the water supply and as a cost-saving measure.

The city did not provide any specific information about how much of a savings that would result in for an average household’s bill.

Relief is not happening across the board, though. Water rates charged to commercial and government buildings are due to increase under the bylaw.

The commercial rate would increase to 3.5 cents per litre from the current rate of two cents. The government rate would see a quadruple increase, to eight cents per litre from two cents.

“This restructure will put a large portion of the burden on to government entities,” Sheppard said.

“I want to thank them for participating in this and for helping us to provide the relief to our residents, while also ensuring we’re able to build our financial capacity to address the water concerns we have, which are still significant.”

The bylaw is scheduled for final reading at the next council meeting on March 26, and would take effect the following week.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Coun. Sam Tilley said delivering a lowered water rate for residents was a promise councillors made to voters in the October municipal election, and he’s excited to get it approved at the next meeting.

“I’m happy to see it happen because it was part of all of our platforms — not just myself, the other seven councillors that ran — and it came to fruition finally,” he said.

“I wish they could be lower … but I’m still happy that it’s where it is. It’s way better than where it was before.”

By Jeff Pelletier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 14, 2024 at 11:44

This item reprinted with permission from   Nunatsiaq News   Iqaluit, Nunavut
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