A late start to dust control in Rankin Inlet has led to some residents closing their windows and opting not to walk outside on sunny days as choking plumes billow through the hamlet.

Two residents visited councillors during a meeting on Aug. 14 to voice their concerns about how the dust is affecting their quality of life.

One of those people, Sandra Nichol, said the only solution she could see was to put down hard surfacing on the roads.

Senior administrative officer Justin Merritt said the delay in applying dust control happened this summer because of the closure of Churchill’s rail line, which meant the shipment of materials used to control dust had to be re-shipped to Montreal instead.

At the time of the council meeting, the shipment still had not arrived in Rankin Inlet, but Merritt said it was expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

BREAKER HEAD: RCMP give update on homicide

During the Aug. 14 meeting, councillors also heard from RCMP Sgt. Lorne Morrison, who told them officers are still investigating the homicide of an 11-year-old boy last month.

The body of O.J. Taparti was discovered in July after he had been missing for up to five days.

“This is one of our highest priorities; it’s not being forgotten,” Morrison said.

He said shortly after Taparti’s body was found, the RCMP brought in experts from Red Deer who are trained in investigating homicides. Although those officers are not currently working from the community, they are still actively on the case.

The update came as part of a verbal report Morrison delivered on crime in the community.

Aside from the homicide, Morrison said officers have been kept busy following up on break-and-enters, mostly to businesses in the early hours of the mornings.

“It’s as busy as it usually is this summer,” he said, adding charges have been laid against a handful of people.

“There have been an awful lot of break-ins.”