Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut June 01, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Baffinland will pay the way for workers commuting across the region

“We want people across the Qikiqtani region to know that Baffinland is committed to increasing Inuit involvement at the Mary River mine”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Baffinland's Mary River mine site, as seen this past September. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAFFINLAND)
Baffinland's Mary River mine site, as seen this past September. (PHOTO COURTESY OF BAFFINLAND)

Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. is now paying the transportation costs for workers travelling to its Mary River mine site from all 13 communities in the Qikiqtani region.

Previously, Baffinland paid for the transportation of workers to its mine on northern Baffin Island from six of the region’s communities: Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Iqaluit and Pond Inlet.

Mine workers from other Qikiqani communities will now have their flights, hotels and meals paid for while travelling from their home communities to these pick-up points.

The Qikiqtani Inuit Association announced the change in a news release on Thursday, May 31, and said it’s the result of its ongoing efforts to renegotiate its Inuit impact and benefit agreement with the company. Its negotiation team includes former-premier Eva Aariak, who is serving as chief negotiator, and former MLA George Qulaut, who is co-negotiator.

“Increasing Inuit employment numbers at the Mary River project has been one of our main focuses at QIA,” says QIA President P.J. Akeeagok, “the Inuit impact and benefits agreement we negotiated with Baffinland is there to ensure that development on Inuit owned land translates into opportunities and jobs for Inuit in our region.”

Having workers from all the region’s communities transported to the mine is, in fact, one of the stipulations of the impact agreement, the QIA said. But until now that provision hadn’t been implemented.

The number of Inuit employed at Baffinland’s Mary River mine has slumped in recent years. The company said in a news release that the new measures are part of an effort to increase the share of Inuit among its ranks.

“We want people across the Qikiqtani region to know that Baffinland is committed to increasing Inuit involvement at the Mary River mine,” said Brian Penney, Baffinland’s president and CEO. “We’re committed to covering all expenses related to travel to one of our pick-up points for all Baffinland employees across the Qikiqtani region.”

Baffinland will also pay for the transport and accommodation of its workers travelling to Nunavut’s Kivalliq and Kitikmeot regions for training and apprenticeships.

To seek a job with Baffinland, Qikiqtani Inuit seeking jobs with Baffinland are urged by the QIA to register with the QIA’s new Inuit labour pool database, Tuttarvik.

This will automatically create a resume for anyone registered and let them know about upcoming work opportunities. Inuit registered with Tuttarvik will also be eligible for skills training, apprenticeships and university programs.

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(19) Comments:

#1. Posted by InukPagan on June 01, 2018

This article makes it sound as though the Baffinland employees had to pay their own airfare to commute to work hehehe

#2. Posted by Frequent Flier on June 01, 2018

Sounds to me like Baffinland has negotiated a cost plus 10% deal, or something similar.

Didn’t the GN award a huge contract to Lufthansa for advice on how to negotiate with the airlines?

Maybe the GN should have just spoken with the buyers at Baffinland. No way are they paying the sort of price that the GN pays for air travel, never mind the prices ordinary people pay.

#3. Posted by An Old Saying on June 02, 2018

“The number of Inuit employed at Baffinland’s Mary River mine has slumped in recent years. The company said in a news release that the new measures are part of an effort to increase the share of Inuit among its ranks.”

You can lead a horse to water, but can’t make it drink

#4. Posted by Luftballoon on June 02, 2018

@#2 good point. Even without Lufthansa I think there are enough brains within the GN to figure it out if they put their minds to it.

The difference is that Baffinland has a viable fallback/alternative position for their negotiations with the airlines, i.e. just not introducing this new program. There’s no way the GN has the backbone to limit or moderate its use of air travel as a bargaining tactic.

My question is, does this new program cover travel for Sanikiluaq residents?

#5. Posted by Frequent Flunker on June 02, 2018

Hey #2, Baffinland uses CHARTERS to fly employees to Mary River.

LOL There is no scheduled air service to Mary River. You cannot buy a ticket to fly to Mary River. LOL

So this has absolutely nothing to do with “the prices ordinary people pay"or the prices the GN negotiates on sked flights for duty travel and medical travel.

#6. Posted by Charter of Wrongs on June 02, 2018

@Frequent Flunker, Baffinland has charters to its mine site from Arctic Bay, Clyde River, Hall Beach, Igloolik, Iqaluit and Pond Inlet? Iqaluit maybe but I would be surprised to hear about the others. And I definitely can’t see charters from ALL the other Baffin communities.

#7. Posted by cup half full not empty on June 03, 2018

There are flights that are going to Mary River from Iqaluit.  Was is being implemented is to attempt in opening doors to those who may be interested in working at a mine or applying for apprenticeship programs.  The doors of opportunity is being opened.  People can’t be forced into work, but it’s an option to provide employment for those who can’t get job in their community not by choice but by limits.  I come from a small community where there was no readily available jobs.  I think this is a great opportunity to help grow the communities and not limit them.

#8. Posted by Sarahwinifred on June 03, 2018

the southern employees treat the Inuit like outsiders.  They protect their southern employees and the Inuit only have the shit jobs. Fact.

#9. Posted by Baffinland is helping, a lot on June 04, 2018

@ #8

I know many fellow Inuit working at baffinland in more than the ‘shit’ positions. Although, you are right in saying that there are a number of Inuit working in less attractive positions. Also the reason behind the skills/training aspect of this agreement is to up the number of Inuit working in more ‘non-shit’ positions. Fact.

#10. Posted by Different angle on June 04, 2018

#8 Or… Inuit treat southerners like outsiders, and generally get the shitty jobs because they have no experience or education.

Fact.

#11. Posted by Ekwalak on June 04, 2018

# 9 an #10 You have never walked in any “Inuit shoes” working for any organization, you have no clue….

#12. Posted by Different angle on June 04, 2018

#11 Yes, but one could also say that unless you’ve spent half your adult life in school, or travelled half way around the country to find work… yada, yada. Your pity party does not compel.

#13. Posted by Baffinland is helping, a lot on June 04, 2018

@11

You think that Ive never walked in any ‘inuit shoes’ or worked for any organization because i think this agreement is good for other inuit and know for a fact that there are Inuit working in ‘non-shit’ jobs? Well, think again Ekwalak. I’m inuk. I work for an Inuit organization. My ‘inuit shoes’ fit pretty well and i walk in them everyday. Clearly you don’t have a clue when i say ‘fellow inuit’ or praise the fact that both QIA and baffinland are again trying to do more for Inuit to have less ‘shit’ jobs.

#14. Posted by TJ on June 04, 2018

#11 You delude yourself or you are attempting to delude others.

The peoples’ treatment of each other and themselves is the major cause of marginalization and impoverishment in Nunavut. Any other idea must be smashed in order for Nunavut and its beautiful and deserving people to recover from their state.

Nearly every cent of each government dollar spent in Nunavut is wasted or stolen and nearly every policy is intended to sustain that status and the ongoing oppression by the ruling Inuit and their few cronies.

90% of the Inuit population is locked in a downward spiral of crime, addiction, hopelessness and terror.

#15. Posted by Bull$%^ Detector on June 04, 2018

Quote: “Nearly every cent of each government dollar spent in Nunavut is wasted or stolen.”

Really? So the money that pays a doctor at the Qikiqtani hospital is “wasted and stolen?” The money that pays the QEC employee who keeps the electricity going is “wasted and stolen?” The money that pays the city employees who pick up the garbage is “wasted and stolen?” LOL

By the way your post is completely unrelated to the article, which is about a private company spending its own money on employee transportation. Go hijack somebody else’s discussion.

#16. Posted by Ekwalak on June 04, 2018

#13 and 14, no you still have no clue. You have no clue where the root of the problem lies, and know how to help the Inuit with their problems, unless Inuit are treated equally and everyone begin to understand how to help those that need help, nothing will change. too many “educated” folks think they know everything…no they don’t know everything…until folks like #13 and #14 learn to shut their mouths and open their ears, and hearts! nothing will change…

Thank you

#17. Posted by Puzzled on June 04, 2018

#16 We’ve all had different experiences. That’s true.

So, what is your point exactly?

#18. Posted by Observer on June 05, 2018

#16 it is apparent that you are on a pity party and that you are not looking to improve your own skills therefore find it easier to blame on your ancestry. We all have ancestors that lived hard lives but it is up to all generations since the. To want better for themselves and their children. This is how things change the for the better. I assume you prefer to blame you Inuit culture for every bad fortune but the truth is the power is within you to change. You have access to free education. Take advantage of it..if you are a drinker then slow down and prioritize your life etc…people are really getting tired of the pity party displayed by some when it’s up to all of us as individuals to carve out our own life

#19. Posted by Ekwalak on June 05, 2018

#18, It is not pity party like you think it is, I have worked since I was 16 and now I am nearing 60. I have seen it all and still see it. at work, I have been put aside and ignored when I request some things to help the work place improve, because of my inukness it is not taken seriously and at times ignored. I have been trying hard to work together with my co-workers and supervisors.
But still get treated less than others. when will it stop? when will we get treated equally and we receive the same treatment as non Inuit? eh? when? When the likes of you change your attitude. that’s when!

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