Municipal Technical Assistance
Pursuant to mandate B.10 of the Sivunirmut Agreement, the Department delivers technical assistance regarding the management of drinking water, wastewater, residual materials and training for drinking water plant operators. As well, pursuant to mandate B.15 of the Sivunirmut Agreement, the KRG ensures the delivery of assistance and training to the northern villages in the following fields: legal affairs, management and municipal accounting, land use planning and development of the territory, as well as engineering. The Department is responsible for the engineering component, namely the management and maintenance of municipal infrastructure and vehicle fleets.
The Department assists the northern villages with the operation and maintenance of infrastructure related to the supply, treatment and distribution of drinking water, as well as with weekly drinking water quality monitoring. These activities nonetheless remain the responsibility of the northern villages. The laboratory at the Ungava Tulattavik Health Centre performs monthly water quality analyses on samples from each community in order to validate the results obtained by plant operators. In this context, the Department co-ordinates the work of the various stakeholders, specifically the northern villages, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs (sustainable development, environment, wildlife and parks, MDDEFP) and the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services.
As well, two technician-instructors train municipal operators to operate and maintain drinking water infrastructure, and offer assistance. Although they are available to provide direct assistance for operating issues and repairs (broken or frozen water supply aqueducts, breakdowns, etc.), their primary role is to coach municipal operators on these duties. This activity is extremely pertinent given the scope of past and planned infrastructure investments. For example, further to the work carried out in 2013 in Kangirsuk and Tasiujaq to upgrade drinking water plants and make them compliant with Québec-government standards, the Department devoted a number of hours for staff training on the proper operation of the facilities.
Created in 2011, the Positive Reinforcement Program for drinking water plant operators aims to recognize work improvements and the performance of these municipal employees. This year, three plant operators from Salluit, Inukjuak and Kuujjuarapik were chosen to attend training sessions from November 28 to December 3 at Cégep Saint-Laurent on microbiology, ultraviolet lamps and regulations, and to visit various drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities in the Montreal region.
As well, in order to facilitate the fulfilment of mandate B.10 of the Sivunirmut Agreement, training for drinking water plant operators was stepped up in 2013 through the hiring of a full-time instructor. The MDDEFP requires operators to hold proper certification.
Vehicle Fleets and Infrastructure
The Department employs two mechanic-instructors to travel from community to community to deliver training to local mechanics and assist them with their work. Several northern villages took advantage of this service again this year, contributing to improved equipment condition and reducing breakdowns. Also this year, the Department planned training activities to be delivered to local mechanics next year. Finally, support was continued for municipal managers for parts purchasing, the preparation of calls for tenders for vehicles, and the hiring of mechanics.
The Department employs two building technician-instructors to support municipal employees to maintain recreational buildings (arenas, community centres and pools). The Department also assists the northern villages with the purchasing, construction and renovation of infrastructure not covered under other financial assistance programs managed by the KRG. For example, the Northern Village of Aupaluk was assisted with the construction of bridge approaches.