Canada’s far North is terrified of losing Amazon Prime — and residents say it would be like ‘pandemonium’

caption
Amazon Prime is vital to residents of Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada.
source
Rafi Letzter/Tech Insider

Residents in one of Canada’s northernmost cities are terrified of losing Amazon Prime, CBC News reported.

In Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavit territory, Amazon Prime keeps food on the table, according to the CBC. Even accounting for the government subsidy program Nutrition North, everyday household and food items cost drastically more in stores in Canada’s northern regions than in their wealthier southern counterparts.

The region’s food insecurity problem has become so drastic that one report said it should be considered a “national crisis.” For example, a five pound bag of flour in 2016 cost shoppers around $10.63 in Nunavut, but on Amazon Prime the same amount of flour cost just $2.39.

Some Nunavit communities outside of Iqaluit lost their Amazon Prime deliveries when Amazon re-evaluated its remote location shipping in 2015, CBC reported. But the company left Iqaluit unscathed.

Many in the area believe Iqaluit may have survived due to the large number of orders the town places on Amazon Prime, according to the CBC. But they worry it may not be enough. Canada’s far North regions are notoriously expensive to ship to due to fuel costs.

Chatelaine Magazine posted the video below about food costs in Iqaluit in June 2015.

“It would be very, very bad [if Prime stopped delivering], I don’t want to say pandemonium, but maybe something akin to that,” local resident David Marineau-Plante told CBC News.

Iqaluit’s post office is one of the busiest in Canada. According to CBC, of the 88,500 packages the office delivered in the first five months of 2017, around 80-90% of them were likely from Amazon Prime.

CBC said that a May report from the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Office found that most locals do not believe the country’s Northern Nutrition subsidy program is enough to keep food affordable. However, the same report did not list any solutions or steps the Canadian government would take to address the growing problem.