The link between Iqaluit’s Tundra Buddies Day Care Society and a new child care centre whose construction will be funded by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada was confirmed Aug. 3, when the federal department announced an award for a contract to design the building.
The Montreal based company EVOQ Architecture Inc. will design the 60-place child care centre, to be operated by the non-profit society after it opens in 2019.
The $721,030 contract, which covers design only, mandates that the company employ a percentage of Inuit labour, sub-consultants, and suppliers.
That’s why EVOQ, which has had its hand in Inuit and First Nations focused projects for 30 years, has sub-contracted a consultant group, Iqaluit’s Inuit-owned Panaq Design, to help with the job.
The six-figure contract does not include construction of the building at the corner of the Apex Rd. and Paunna Rd., near the new Joamie Court subdivision.
Previous reporting by Iqaluit media suggests that the long-planned child care centre is being built to increase employee retention within federal government workplaces.
Rachel Théorêt-Gosselin, president of the Tundra Buddies Day Care Society, told Nunatsiaq News last month that wait times for daycare in the city are as long as three years.
She said many families who moved to Iqaluit, like she did in 2014, must employ live-in nannies or look for unlicensed child care.
The new child care centre, which will be the largest in the territory, will employ at least 12 child care workers.
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