Nunatsiaq News
LETTERS: Nunavut January 29, 2015 - 11:09 am

Do drug tests, criminal record checks create barriers for Inuit job-seekers?

Social assistance not enough for single parent who can’t find work

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

With all the commotion about the Nutrition North Canada program still a hot topic, I hope you will print my open letter to the politicians concerned.

I am a single parent with a 12-year-old son. I have no choice but to go on social assistance for help.

Each month, I get $805 to buy food, clothing, and to pay bills. Up here in Resolute, $805 does not go very far. It all goes towards food, yet only lasts for two week’s worth of food.

The rest of the time we go without food or forage at the only store in town from their garbage before it is thrown out.

It is time they increase the social assistance to at least $1,200 a month to offset the high cost of living, instead of giving $60 million to the airlines or the stores, which only benefits them.

I do look for a job, but most require criminal records checks and drug tests. We live in a unforgiving society that require these checks just so they will have an excuse not to hire Inuit.

In this case, 60 per cent of Inuit either have a criminal record or take drugs.

Do away with both of these requirements and I would have had a job long time ago. We have the highest rate of criminals and drug users in the country.

And we have unforgiving potential employers who will not hire due to past criminal convictions or drug use.

All sins are forgivable, and all claim to be religious but are yet still unforgiving.

Just increase social assistance, as mentioned. Thank you.

Ross Pudluk
Resolute Bay



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