The shift away from seeking private investment would mean more public money may be needed for the project. On that matter, Hunter Tootoo, the minister responsible for Qulliq, said nothing has been decided yet.

Everything, as you can probably realize, has changed radically since the end of last year, Qulliq Energy’s Acting President Bruce Rigby said.

Rigby said that lower oil prices, having moved from $140 US a barrel in 2008 to trading around $50 at present, have slowed down Nunavut’s rush to move away from crude as its main energy source.

The change in oil prices at the moment allows us some space to actually get the project ready, Rigby said.

Nothing is going back to be redone or anything. It’s just simply a matter of taking the time that we’ve given to retool the project in such a way that it meets the new financial conditions that we’re dealing with.

That’s no longer really on the table, Rigby said.

If at some point down the road, that there’s a decision that that has to be paid for by the government, then that’s something that would be looked at that time, Tootoo said.

Regardless of whether the dam becomes a taxpayer-funded project or not, Tootoo said that the idea of burning less oil to generate energy is a popular idea among his constituents in Iqaluit centre.

Water surveys at the Jaynes Inlet site will continue this summer, Qulliq officials said.

Qulliq Energy’s hydro committee had originally proposed building the dam at its Armshow Long site on the Armshow river, but in July 2008 changed its mind and decided on the Jaynes Inlet site.