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Residents line up at the mail counter in Iqaluit, one of the busiest post offices in Canada. (Vincent Robinet/CBC) The consensus in Iqaluit seems to be that everyone with a credit card has an Amazon Prime membership. That’s because people can often find groceries cheaper online than in local stores, despite government food subsidy programs.

"Amazon Prime has done more toward elevating the standard of living of my family than any territorial or federal program. Full stop. Period," a local principal, who declined to speak further, said on Facebook. Pampers on the shelf at Northmart in Iqaluit. On Amazon, similar size boxes are around $35. (Sara Frizzell/CBC) With an annual fee of about $80, Amazon Prime members can get free and faster shipping.

In 2015, Amazon re-evaluated its shipping to remote locations and dropped many Nunavut communities , but kept Iqaluit. Now, Iqalummiut live in perpetual fear that they will be next to get cut off by Amazon.

"We’d be limping," said Rhoda Cunningham outside the post office in June.

"It would be very, very bad, I don’t want to say pandemonium, but maybe something akin to that," said David Marineau-Plante, after picking up his mail.

Many in town rely on the service for everything from deodorant to hardware supplies to non-perishable food.

Alookie Itorcheak said she’s been using Amazon for four years, to make being a mom more affordable.

A box of 180 Pampers costs about $70 off the shelf in Iqaluit; on Amazon, similar size boxes are around $35.Diapers are not covered by Nutrition North, the federal program that gives subsidies to northern retailers. It was one of many items dropped from the eligibility list when the government replaced the former Food Mail program with Nutrition North in 2011. Post office sees spike in orders Many hold out hope that the sheer number of […]

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