With a perfect political storm threatening to engulf his government in Ottawa, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau set off to Iqaluit on Thursday — only to be denied by a severe winter storm in the Arctic city.
Trudeau was scheduled to make a public appearance in Nunavut’s capital city to issue an apology for the Canadian government’s past mistreatment of Inuit who went south to seek treatment for tuberculosis in the mid-20th century.
But his plane had to be diverted to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, N.L., due to severe weather conditions in Iqaluit — winds gusting over 80 km/h, visibility of less than 400 metres and blowing snow, according to Environment Canada.
The blizzard prompted a citywide shutdown, with authorities in Iqaluit advising residents that city facilities were closed and services such as snow removal, garbage pickup and water delivery were suspended until further notice.
Residents were advised to stay off the roads and remain home until weather conditions subside.
Trudeau’s event has been tentatively rescheduled for Friday morning, subject to an improvement in weather conditions.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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