QBDC pursues economic Nunavut communities’ economic development opportunities

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Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature

Formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation in April 2016, the Qikiqtaaluk Business Development Corporation (QBDC) pursues economic development and infrastructure initiatives within the 13 communities of Nunavut’s Qikiqtani region. QBDC seeks to “improve community capacity and self-reliance by creating opportunities that enhance local Inuit business and individual career development prospects while addressing the essential infrastructure and local economic deficit through partnership, innovation and investment.”

The 13 communities include Nunavut’s capital, Iqaluit, and the 12 municipalities of Arctic Bay, Cape Dorset, Clyde River, Grise Fiord, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Kimmirut, Pangnirtung, Pond Inlet, Qikiqtarjuaq, Resolute and Sanikiluaq.

Sheldon Nimchuk, QBDC’s director of project development and partnerships, says the organization builds on the capacity developed within Qikiqtalluk Corporation over the years to assist the region’s communities through traditional and alternate economic and infrastructure delivery models. QBDC will focus on promoting partnerships with government at various levels, while aligning private investment opportunities with each of the 13 communities towards implementing their unique economic and social infrastructure development plans.

The organization’s business plan states: “The long-term objective of QBDC would be to provide the appropriate resources and corporate knowledge available within Qikiqtaaluk Corp. and its group of companies as a catalyst to advancing a new economic model of self-reliance through effective partnership between our Qikiqtani communities and Inuit organizations along with the territorial and federal governments.”

These efforts, Nimchuk says, will focus on economic sectors including but not limited to transportation, telecommunications, energy, resource and in-shore fisheries development, along with social infrastructure to create alternative delivery opportunities in recognition that advancing future initiatives may utilize new technologies and renewables as a means to align stakeholders’ interests and business sustainability.

QBDC will complement its resources to enhance skills development and employment opportunities, especially in business development and project management.

The business plan notes: “One of the key objectives of QBDC in pursuing partnership opportunities will be to demonstrate dedicated commitments to training and career development for Inuit. Efforts to identify and pursue the incorporation of funding programs to maximize employment and career development promotion in synergy with future economic development and essential infrastructure initiatives throughout our region.”

Nimchuk says while the organization has begun advancing some early initiatives, many specific strategies and plans have not yet been fully established. Imminent plans to develop an adaptable five-year strategic plan “will help focus our effort and be positioned to collaborate further with our communities.”

QBDC is a division of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation which is wholly owned by the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

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