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Qikiqtaaluk contends with cargo backlog amid latest COVID-19 wave

Trevor Wright
Iqaluit’s Canadian North Cargo office is facing a backlog due to weather and Covid-19 related delays. (Trevor Wright/NNSL)

Trevor Wright

Northern News Service

IQALUIT — The latest wave of COVID-19, combined with weather delays and cancellations, is creating a cargo backlog for Canadian North across the Qikiqtaaluk region.

As a result, the Iqaluit Canadian North cargo office is now restricting its cargo to essential goods only for the Qikiqtaaluk region outside of Iqaluit. This restriction will be in place for at least one week. Essential shipments include pharmaceuticals, perishable food items, lab samples/tests and mail.

In the first week of January, there were flight cancellations for Clyde River, Qikiqtarjuaq, Pangnirtung and Kimmirut, creating a further buildup of cargo in Iqaluit, Qikiqtaaluk’s regional travel hub.

While some progress was made in the days following Christmas “the latest wave of COVID-19 in Nunavut and across the country resulted in staff shortages for both flight and ground crews, causing us to cancel some flights when our team members were forced into isolation,” stated Kevin Kablutsiak, senior director of marketing and communications at Canadian North.

With Covid-19 testing capacity being strained across Canada, this has caused delays in some Canadian North employees returning to work.

“We are also bringing in other partner carriers, where possible, to support us with cargo movement,” added Kablutsiak.

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