Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut August 09, 2018 - 9:30 am

Inuit occupy just one-quarter of Government of Nunavut staff housing

“If the numbers were the opposite … that would house thousands of more Inuit … and greatly reduce the housing shortage in Nunavut”

COURTNEY EDGAR
Adam Lightstone, Nunavut's MLA for Iqaluit-Manirajak, says the territorial government's staff housing policy needs to start prioritizing Inuit. (PHOTO BY COURTNEY EDGAR)
Adam Lightstone, Nunavut's MLA for Iqaluit-Manirajak, says the territorial government's staff housing policy needs to start prioritizing Inuit. (PHOTO BY COURTNEY EDGAR)

Updated at 12:10 p.m.

Barely one-quarter of the Government of Nunavut’s staff housing is occupied by Inuit.

That needs to change, says Adam Lightstone, MLA for Iqaluit-Manirajak. He wants to see the GN’s staff housing policy amended so that more Inuit benefit.

“Since Nunavut’s creation we have been facing a tragic housing shortage, and it is widely known but along with the housing shortage comes overcrowding and all the other social implications that go along with it,” Lightstone said.

“Inuit represent 85 per cent of the population in Nunavut,” he said. “Inuit represent 50 per cent of the Government of Nunavut workforce, yet Inuit only represent 26 per cent of those employees in staff housing.”

“If the numbers were the opposite, and there were 1,043 Inuit in staff housing, that would house thousands of more Inuit—as the average Inuit household has at least four people in it—and greatly reduce the housing shortage in Nunavut.”

Lightstone received the numbers from Nunavut’s Department of Finance on July 30, after submitting written questions on the subject to Finance Minister David Akeeagok in the legislative assembly on June 14.

The numbers show that only 377 out of 1,420, or 26.55 per cent, of government staff employees who receive staff housing are Inuit from Nunavut.

Lightstone said he had a hunch the numbers would be low. He just didn’t expect they would be that low.

Along with the total number of Inuit and non-Inuit who receive government staff housing as of June 1 of this year, the documents Lightstone received from Akeeagok included a breakdown by department and employment category.

Lightstone organized the data he received from Akeeagok into several spreadsheets and shared both the original answers and his re-ordered data with Nunatsiaq News on August 8.

According to Lightstone’s spreadsheets, the education department has the lowest amount of Nunavut Inuit receiving staff housing, with a total of 74 Inuit and 420 non-Inuit. That is just 15 per cent.

The Nunavut Housing Corp. and Department of Health follow close behind, with 17.6 and 19.7 per cent, respectively. While the NHC has 51 employees in total who are receiving staff housing, only nine of those are Inuit.

The Department of Community and Government Services has 23.5 per cent of Nunavut Inuit receiving staff housing ―24 of housed staff are Inuit and 78 who are not.

“Some of the departments are doing exceptionally well,” Lightstone said, in an interview in his office on Wednesday morning. “But those departments have relatively low staff housing in general.”

The department with the most Inuit who receive staff housing is the Department of Culture and Heritage, with 21 Inuit and six non-Inuit employees receiving staff housing. That is 78 per cent. But that department accounts for only 27 people who receive staff housing.

By way of comparison, the education department has 494 employees who receive staff housing, the health department has 305 and the justice department 131. The education and health departments rank among the lowest in Inuit representation in their staff housing.

Other departments and agencies with high percentages of Inuit in staff housing include the Office of the Languages Commissioner at 71.4 per cent, Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs at 70 per cent and the Nunavut Business Credit Corp. at 66.7 per cent.

But those organizations have small numbers of employees receiving staff housing—if you add the three departments together, the numbers amount to just 40 people.

Nunavut’s housing shortage holds back Inuit in many ways, Lightstone said.

Children are more likely to develop health issues, like tuberculosis. And it’s much more difficult to keep up with homework when you live in an overcrowded household, he said.

Lightstone said the territory’s staff housing policy has been used mainly as a way to encourage people to move to Nunavut, rather than to encourage Inuit already living here to join the GN workforce.

Lightstone said he was surprised to learn how many employees ―Inuit and non-Inuit―receive staff housing when they are in positions of middle and senior management or executive roles, where it is clear that their salary is more than $150,000 a year.

There are 187 people in “middle management,” 69 in “senior management” and 12 in “executive” roles who benefit from the GN staff housing policy. There are another 740 people in “professional” careers, likely making over $100,000 who are also benefiting from this subsidy.

While there are 148 Inuit in these higher-earning professional, management or executive roles who receive staff housing through the GN, 855 non-Inuit in those categories benefit from staff housing.

Lightstone said he is not against staff housing in general―he understands the need to offer an incentive to bring newcomers in certain professions to work in Iqaluit. But he said there should be changes made to prioritize Inuit, and there should be a cut-off point in salary when an employee is making enough money to no longer require staff housing after a certain time.

According to Lightstone, there are GN employees who spend their entire public service career in staff housing.

“It needs to be adjusted to be a short-term subsidy,” Lightstone said, suggesting just the first few years of employment might be a good idea.

“The way things are going now, I doubt we would ever see an increase in Inuit allocations in staff housing unless the government makes that part of the policy or a priority.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Lightstone suggested staff housing be limited to the first year of employment. In fact, he suggested staff housing be limited to the first few years of employment.

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(60) Comments:

#1. Posted by Bbff@gmail.com on August 09, 2018

Come on Lightstone get real. There are no private rentals outside of Iqaluit. So it you want teachers, nurses and doctors in Nunavut must provide staff housing. If you fix this broken education system perhaps we will see more teachers, nurses and doctors whom are Inuk! That’s where you need to start! Essential services require staff housing! Schools must start doing better at preparing kids for post secondary training.

#2. Posted by eskimo joe on August 09, 2018

nice work mr lightstone, this is bad news, so without any mentorship/apprenticeship, ng housed and care for someone who has no interest in the well being of Nunavut and its inhabitants? why not house those who have stakes in Nunavut, who lives in Nunavut rather than throwing money away. go ahead and tell me you the transients are the Nunavut’s saviors.

#3. Posted by Home sweet Home on August 09, 2018

“It needs to be adjusted to be a short-term subsidy,” Lightstone said, suggesting just the first year of employment might be a good idea.

How would that work?  Other than Iqaluit where there are places to rent, where would people live after one year? Smaller communities have no rental spaces.

#4. Posted by jon on August 09, 2018

Mr Lightstone is making a very good point! im so happy that somebody out there is actually aware of how things are running for those who work for the GN.  my wife and I both work for the GN too and we’re both inuit but we don’t receive the housing subsidy.  since we own our home one of us receive the home ownership fuel rebate of $400/month but since its included within our pay, we actually get only about 50% of it, roughly 50% goes to deductions so actually, rather than getting the full $400 we end up getting only about $200, wonder if this has ever been noticed or thought of? lets hope that this will also be noticed and looked into by those who have authority to take action.  thanks.

#5. Posted by Northern Guy on August 09, 2018

The key question is whether staff housing should be seen as an incentive to fill critical positions or a social benefit. There is no reason why it can’t be both; however that would require investment of capital by the GN in additional staff housing stock. I also dispute Mr. Lightstone’s assertion that GN employees spend many years in staff housing. Generally speaking GN staff are either in staff housing for the period of time that they reside in Nunavut (the average right now is about 2.5 years) or they transition out of staff housing and into a purchased home if they plan to remain longer. Short-term subsidies will not work because they do not support staff recruitment or retention. Removing the subsidy after one year would act as a disincentive and would either drive employees out of the territory prematurely or make recruitment even more difficult. Either way short-term subsidies would exacerbate already critical vacancy issues within the GN.

#6. Posted by GN worker/inuk on August 09, 2018

for all communities in Nunavut how many GN housing units are occupied? and how many units does the GN have in total?

#7. Posted by Joseph on August 09, 2018

These are meaningless statements….write up a detailed plan of action and implement it. Digging around in Excel for little result and cause some sort of commotion.

#8. Posted by Inuk on August 09, 2018

GN Housing should be more available to lower income salary. People in higher seats can afford housing, and to see there available for salaries that can afford housing is just not fair. Receptionist and admin assistant, should be priority, there the one’s who goes home with the lowest salaries.  However housing is not available for these employee’s, its a wait list that can wait up to 2 years.

#9. Posted by impressed on August 09, 2018

I am impressed that an MLA would request this information and then analyze it.
And i agree those making more than 150,000 a year shouldn’t be in staff housing. they can rent or buy.

#10. Posted by displaced vision of Nunavut on August 09, 2018

“Lightstone said he was surprised to learn how many employees ―Inuit and non-Inuit―receive staff housing when they are in positions of middle and senior management or executive roles, where it is clear that their salary is more than $150,000 a year.”  This is one MLA who can see what the past 18 years has proven to accomplish by displacing the vision of Nunavut for Inuit of Nunavut.

#11. Posted by Val on August 09, 2018

Don’t forget all the $outhern contract worker$ who receive free hou$ing and boom! even less Inuit in GN staff housing. Suckz! to be Inuit in NU. Oh crap! we are indigenous to the region

#12. Posted by Think about it on August 09, 2018

I like Adam, he seems like a nice person, but to say thousands more Inuit would be housed if the numbers were reversed is simply not true.  Even if every staff house was given to Inuit employees, that would be less then 1100 more, and if the number were reversed that would only be an extra 700 or so. 
When you bring up Southerns like teachers and nurses on short term contracts those houses are part of their compensation.  The GN contract is finishing shortly, maybe you can work with the union to increase the wages and eliminate staff housing for everyone?

#13. Posted by Uneven thank you Mr. Lightstone on August 09, 2018

I live in Nunavut, I live in a GN unit. But I have 2 boys and their spouse along with 6 young children living in a cabin for 2 years now. They are GN employees but no housing. while some GN employees live in 2 or 3 bedroom houses alone, yes one GN resident living in a 2 or 3 bedroom unit. We are hoping the housing association will come up with a unit for them before the 3rd winter.

Make changes, if the GN employee does not have a house to live in, allocate them a house regardless of employment status.

I would say more regarding some comments from here but, they seem shaken enough.

Thank you

#14. Posted by nobby on August 09, 2018

Everyone looks at the price of that trip to Ottawa no one checking names these people were given a freee ride for something they were going to do, Who are they? What dept. are they from?
What job do they hold, What were they told to give when in new job, is it money or what that they had to give are they still to make sure it is given? even after failed new job

#15. Posted by indeterminate employee on August 09, 2018

Mr. Lightstone,

thank you for looking into this. It makes sense. Keep up the great work.

#16. Posted by olaf on August 09, 2018

Here is a question, from the 26.55%, how many actually deserve their position and get their jobs done? How many are holding their position purely for maintaining Inuit numbers?

#17. Posted by Inukuluk on August 09, 2018

I understand where you’re coming from Adam but until we teach our children to pursue post secondary education those numbers will only increase steadily. Did you compare your numbers from 5-10 years ago to see how the numbers have changed?

#18. Posted by No Housing on GNjob ads on August 09, 2018

It’s true,a lot of the job ad’s they have these day for Nunavut GN, is no housing available or not included. Really?  So all these people coming from South to work for our Government of Nunavut positions have no housing either? or is it reserved for the southerners.

#19. Posted by miitoo on August 09, 2018

18 housing units stand empty in Panniqtuq. There is stuffs in them being stored. Stuffs don’t need housing, people do.

#20. Posted by Judith Burch on August 09, 2018

Definitely Inuit people should be the top priority for housing!

#21. Posted by educated Inuk on August 09, 2018

This is all good, I think he comes from an honest concern and its a valid concern. But if you look at the conditions of local housing units, there is always damage done to the units.
Inuit are given public, low cost housing already and they don’t even take care of the place. If they just took care of the place, didnt punch holes in the wall, kept things clean and tidy, perhaps the conditions of housing would be better? Yes, there is wear and tear of a house eventually but if people in local housing cant take care of their units, how are Inuit in GN housing going to take care of their units? Who would pay for repairs?

#22. Posted by Would rather public housing. on August 09, 2018

GN staff housing rates is based on the unit, not the income of the tenant.  For example, a first year teacher living in staff housing would pay the exact amount as a teacher at the top of the salary scale, even though there is almost a 30k difference in annual salary (as long as the units are comparable).  GN units do not get the same subsidies that public housing does as well, they pay for water and garbage, and a higher rate for electricity. 

Also, the rent is taken directly from your pay check, with the amount of AWOLS and LWOPS a significant percentage of the population would have less money in their pockets if they worked for the GN and lived in staff housing.

#23. Posted by Living in the real world on August 09, 2018

I’m not a government employee and have worked in the private sector since coming to Iqaluit almost 30 years ago. I did not receive housing or other northern benefits (food, travel, etc). I worked hard to pay the rent & put food on the table, eventually building our own home. Start living in the real world and stop blaming others for what you don’t have!!

#24. Posted by Get real on August 09, 2018

By all means get rid of subsizided housing for 3/4 of your workforce.

Nothing can possibly go wrong there.

#25. Posted by Observer on August 09, 2018

The staff housing policy has always been an old chestnut. The policy is based first on the assumption that there is not enough staff housing for all employees. As a result, priority is given to employees outside of the territory/community in order to recruit and retain those individuals. On the other hand, local hires ( who are predominantly Inuit) are presumed by the policy to already have housing and do not need it for recruitment and retention purposes. Perhaps the policy should be revisited. But, if you force higher income earners out of staff housing, you will lose those employees and will have difficulty filling those positions with qualified individuals.

#26. Posted by Indeterminate employee # 3 on August 09, 2018

Will, since we live in Nunavut and Housing is a problem for Inuit, why hire people from outside Nunavut?
The people hired outside of Nunavut has more Possibilities of getting housing provided for them, free trip,food allowance-$5k, Housing Subsidy,Higher Pay, other benefits,these are on the GN website.

I’m pretty sure all of this free money that they’re getting from Nunavut is over 50% overall in costs. I don’t know if these so call benefits go to the Inuit too.

Once their earnings reaches 200k to 1 million leave their job and move back down south, with moving costs provided for the for them.
Come on Inujuguut, get educated needed for the positions that Nunavut needs, plus learn Inuktitut inugaavit, if you don’t speak it.
Thanks

#27. Posted by LaaLaa Lander on August 09, 2018

# 26 asks “why hire people from outside Nunavut?”

That this question even needs to be asked demonstrates
how ignorant too many people in Nunavut are.

Yes, in the land of make believe you don’t need an education to perform professional tasks, you only need your culture and identity.

So go on Nunavut, rid yourselves of all these southern doctors, lawyers, professionals of any type. You don’t need them, you can rely on your “Inukness” to get the job done.

Clowns

#28. Posted by john on August 09, 2018

So for a little data mining and a phone call we have a paid ad for the MLA. Now that’s smart. The rest of it isn’t. Muck racking in nothing.

#29. Posted by Hmmm... on August 09, 2018

Really # 26?????

I’m an inuk getting all those you listed!

It doesn’t matter what race you are!

If you are qualified for the job, you can get it!

If you have the right mind set you can do it!

Quit your nagging about “ooooooh i can’t do this or that!”

First off, start with your EDUCATION!

If you never finished high school there’s courses and programs to help.

So many resources for us here to get to where we want to be! Enough with your Southern bs whining.

Get your education! build it up to the requirements you need for a good paying job!

I have! It takes time but it is all well worth it!

You just need to stay committed! Don’t give up no matter what and just think of the end results!

Such an IGNORANT COMMENT #26! Learn!

#30. Posted by Jeff on August 09, 2018

#16. I am part of the 26.55% u reference. There is a chitload of terribly unqualified people in this group. It’s not what u know but who u know. Inuit are terribly misrepresented and treated in the GN.

#31. Posted by Observer on August 09, 2018

There’s nothing more dangerous than someone armed with a few facts who doesn’t realize that those few facts don’t describe the entire situation.

#32. Posted by UpHere on August 09, 2018

Get rid of subsidized housing
- except for essential services and create fairness required.
- I agree to know when the last increase was for subsidized housing?
-I agree why it is subsidized when two high earning employees could be living there. Why based on size?

Same with students - FANS recipients should be given the top up that homeowners are given if they are not in subsidized housing too. They are our future.

#33. Posted by iThink on August 09, 2018

“The education and health departments rank among the lowest in Inuit representation in their staff housing.”

It really makes you wonder why the thousands of Inuit doctors and teachers aren’t being housed?

Injustice!!!

In reality #28 & 31 both nailed it. For some shallow, facile analysis lacking explanation or nuance—abbeted by and a media outlet eager to promote itself as a player for social justice, we get this muckraking garbage.

#34. Posted by Northern Inuit on August 09, 2018

damn, a lot of angry people in here, both Inuit and Non Inuit.

first, I’m glad the Department of Human Resources is being resurrected.  hopefully, just hopefully the rampant nepotism which has been ongoing throughout the Government of Nunavut for far too long will finally be dealt with.

what was the line from The Jerrycans?  The 45 minute coffee breaks and hour and a half lunch breaks you know I will take”

well that has to be dealt with as well.  take pride in your work.  show up on time (or even early or is that asking way too much) and a five day work week, my goodness that is a great start!  we are working for the betterment of our people, our clients, our wonderful Friends and Family (just stop hiring them, or at least do it fairly).

now a Staff House should be an incentive to help with the job but yes, and hopefully one can move into something a little more permanent.  but it’s tough as well.  if you are part of a dual income residence, you do not qualify for the NDAP…

#35. Posted by Somewhat real on August 09, 2018

After living in the north for a while it is disappointing to see the high rates in homelessness but also the low importance on education. This is where it all starts so those pesky southerners aren’t stealing jobs that the Inuit can do. But we are all canadians and we go where the jobs are like those in BC who move to ON.
Also on the other hand when jobs are available, making it to work daily without lwop or awols do not occur to increase workloads on the other staff and make those people quit which causes high turnovers everywhere.
I do agree that gn staff housing isn’t utilized to the full potential but it starts with a good education to get the jobs that are available.

#36. Posted by People on August 09, 2018

PEOPLE WITH HIGHER PAYING GN JOBS GET SUB HOUSING! PEOPLE WITH INDETERMINATE JOBS GET SUB HOUSING, PEOPLE WITH CASUAL GN JOBS AND ARE EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME MORE THEN 1 OR SO ON AND HAVE LOWER PAYING GN JOBS DONT EVEN GET HOUSING…....

#37. Posted by A teacher on August 09, 2018

If Nunavut gets rid of subsidized government staff housing, you can say good-bye to your teachers, nurses, counsellors and any other professionals from down south working up here. The GN is already having a hard time hiring nurses and teachers given the horrible working conditions in Nunavut. This is a bad idea and will just make things worse. Go ahead and ruin things more Nunavut.

#38. Posted by Math and Logic on August 09, 2018

Adam,

Your arithmetic is perfect.
Unfortunately, your logic is flawed.

The simplest flaw is where you presume that 1 GN staff house, assigned to one southern hire, is occupied only by that 1 southerner.

I was a southern hire. I moved first into a private rental and then into a GN staff house with my Inuit spouse and Inuit child. The first evening we moved into that house two Inuit foster kids also arrived.

The GN staff house is assigned to me in your spreadsheets, but there have often been half a dozen or more Inuit living in this GN staff house along with me.

Some have been foster kids, some have been homeless Inuit, others have been friends or family of my Inuit spouse without another place to spend the night.

Almost without exception I’ve been the only occupant who was employed.  My high GN salary pays all the bills and buys all the food.  Purchased food also goes out the door to those in need.

I’m sure I am not unique.

But the situation is more complex than you state.

#39. Posted by Hmm on August 09, 2018

No. GN is a public government and there should be no preference to any group of people. Health and Education have the highest numbers of non-Inuit because of the educational requirements of those positions.

#40. Posted by Native on August 10, 2018

The solution is not just to give Inuit job in the Government to solve housing problems. Solution is to help Inuit get educated and earn a job with the Government. Solve housing problem and have people that can do the job they have helping solve more Nunavut problems.

#41. Posted by RtBH on August 10, 2018

HOUSING is one of the MOST Basic Needs regardless, if one has money or not. IT IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT.
WHAT HAPPENED with RENT TO BUY Program? As far as I remember, It was available about 20 or 30 years ago and I haven’t heard anything about it since. I know a lot of people who are working for the Government on Nunavut (GN) would benefit from this program. We ALL would like to buy a house but, we have problems of some sort.

One thing I would suggest is to get the RENT TO BUY start again. This would help a lot of us who wish to own a home throughout Nunavut.

GN should consider all Indeterminate Employees housing no matter what position they got hired for too.

#42. Posted by mary christmas on August 10, 2018

Herzberg Theory. use it. its a factual pyramid.

#43. Posted by common threats on August 10, 2018

#37 Why would anyone with your attitude want to work in Nunavut?  The big bucks and housing provided.  Conditional demands.  The same with Southern bred Union leaders who want what they want or no services to the people.  Either way, by the standard of your conditional work demands and the want what we want attitude from the Unions, Nunavut has been in a bad place.  “I will leave if I don’t get what I want.” and “Give us what we want, or no water service.” are common threats in Nunavut.  The people survive outside of your group circles, always challenged by the lack of services, and with time, Nunavut will prosper for the people, by the people.

#44. Posted by people on August 10, 2018

The union really does not work for the general population it was taken over (closed doors) and will only go ahead when someone (on the side its ok he/ she is a person we take care of) its always exclusion it was from the beginning at first it was southerners who excluded who they chose to but we have people who dont like certain communities and want less services in those communities like Cape Dorset or Pond Inlet or Chesterfield….. Even to their own people because they did not come from their own region

#45. Posted by A Teacher on August 10, 2018

#43 - I am a teacher, not a charity worker. I chose my career because I like working with young people, I like the subject I teach, and the job pays well so I can support a family and buy some of the comforts in life I enjoy. I have worked hard for what I have. I am not entitled to it. If my housing is no longer subsidized, I will go somewhere else where my hard work is appreciated. Without the housing subsidy, financially, it just doesn’t make sense to stay in Nunavut -  especially for single teachers.

I repeat, I am here to work hard and to give it my all, but I am not a charity worker. I expect to be fairly compensated for my work - like any other worker. If I am not fairly compensated, I will work somewhere where I am fairly compensated.

#46. Posted by Not your savior on August 10, 2018

#45 I appreciate your comment. Many people think us ‘southerners’ should be here as quasi-missionaries, driven by a level of altruism most of them could probably not muster. It horrifies them to think we are here to make a living and use the education we spent years earning to get ahead in the world and *gasp* enjoy life and save for our retirement *elsewhere*.

Get over it.

#47. Posted by Work tied to Housing on August 10, 2018

I would also like to point out that many Inuit choose not to move into Staff housing if it is available as it ties their housing to their employment. If they wish to switch jobs or retire no more home!

#48. Posted by GottaSay on August 10, 2018

NTI presented to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development a Coopers Lybrand Report that said that, by bringing up short-term people, who will always leave, with all those associated costs while not having innovative training programs for all the Inuit who remain locked out, education-wise, that millions is being spent on the wrong people!
We know that, yet no really innovative, highly-creative training programs have been introduced.
Why do we lack imagination and creativity about ensuring Inuit hold the jobs, know what they are doing and are proud to stay long-term?

#49. Posted by attitudes on August 10, 2018

To #45 You take from the people and then talk about “...horrible working conditions…”

To #46 Be honest and tell the truth.  The primary purpose is money and the Government will pay.

#50. Posted by Raymond Kaslak on August 11, 2018

Embedded bureaucracy from 70’s-80’s.

#51. Posted by Are any of you for real? on August 11, 2018

#49 Let’s do a quick thought experiment.

If the GN stopped compensating people for their work, how many would continue to do their jobs?

Thoughts?

The idea that staff housing should be temporary, when there are no viable alternatives, really shows how intellectually vacuous this MLA’s remarks are. This bozo would get chewed to pieces in a room of serious thinkers. Granted, blistering stupidity is par for the course here in Nunavut.

#52. Posted by Teacher on August 11, 2018

#49 - What you call “take from the people” I call fair compensation for my work. I am not a charity worker nor a slave. As to the working conditions, I plan to leave in the next few years because of them. The kids here are great, but the challenges here will ruin you. I have seen this place ruin teachers stronger than I. Hopefully a local NTEP grad will take my position…but not likely.

#53. Posted by Temporary B.Ed. Exemption. What the hell? *Despera on August 11, 2018

Exactly #52. I’ve been teaching in NU for a decade & a half. I ‘ve stayed because I enjoy my job. I became & am invested in my school, community & its members

Under-identified students that anywhere else would qualify for one-on-one support. Where are Nunavut’s Ed. Psychologists? Learning disabilities, behavioural problems, poor attitude & exhaustion are serious challenges. Teacher burnout is real. Many kids up 1/2 the night- education’s not a priority. School Boards & the Dept. of Ed have no clue as to the realities teachers are facing day in & day out. Do they care? Challenges with teacher retention & new hires-why: working conditions & a shitty contract

Many NTEP grads aren’t comfortable teaching jr. & sr. high school students. For Sr. high- subject specific knowledge & specialized training are required. Southern teachers are needed for those positions. Staff housing is needed -who’s going to buy a house on a term contract
QSO’s posted ad atm (Ed. Can site) ‘temp. BEd. exemption’ !

#54. Posted by Let's Check Other Numbers on August 12, 2018

I recently scanned Education Canada which is the source of job information for prospective teachers.  There are still approximately eighty vacancies across the territory with a number in Iqaluit which would not have happened just a few years ago.  It is only going to harder and harder to attract professionals to Nunavut.  The NTEP program cannot even begin to fill the vacancies.  The MLA’s comments were based upon numbers and less on what is really going on.  School has already started in some communities and about to start in others soon.  Think about it, still all these vacancies.

#55. Posted by Adam + Math = ??? on August 13, 2018

#54, right now there are over *90* vacant teaching positions across the territory.

Over ninety. Ninety classrooms in 25 communities don’t have a teacher. But sure, when you can’t get enough teachers now, let’s get even less by telling them they have to look for their own private housing in communities THAT DON’T HAVE ANY.

Adam Lightstone is the type of guy who sits spouting off all sorts of things that sound insightful, but if you know anything about the subject he’s currently pontificating on, you quickly realize he has no clue what he’s babbling about.

#56. Posted by Public housing on August 14, 2018

What about GN staff in public housing? Isn’t it possible a high number of Inuit staff are receiving subsidized housing, just in another (even more generous) form?

#57. Posted by TundraTom on August 14, 2018

#56 - Excellent point.  Many GN employees choose to remain in public housing as they may not have to pay the full rent they would on a staff house or as #47 pointed out, if they quit/retire, they lose their housing.

#58. Posted by North Star on August 15, 2018

Mr. lightstone shows us he can crunch numbers but it would be nice to see some solutions to a major problem in Nunavut. 

Mr. lightstone, If you had 40 housing units available and you have a 100 positions to fill and you need to factor in that most of these positions require a skill set that don’t exist in Nunavut, how would you proceed?  Would you assign a unit to increase representation of Nunavut Inuit or would you use that unit to assist you in recruiting talent that don’t exist in our labour market? 

That’s the problem that needs to be solved and it is not an easy one unless you proving staff housing for all employees.  Staff housing administrators need to understand their role in crucial in ensuring potential hires are accommodated accordingly, this will help GN immersing in your recruitment efforts.

#59. Posted by Northern Exposure Man on August 15, 2018

Be careful what you advocate for. Staff housing is always more expensive than public housing. Many employed inuit already live in public housing and would not switch for staff housing that is tied to a specific job and could be lost if leaving that job. The private housing market is negligible outside Iqaluit or Rankin so not likely an option.

You won’t be able to place southern hires in public housing either. So reduce the availability of staff housing and you will increase the number of unfilled GN positions due to lack of locally qualified people and the inability to recruit from outside the territory.

Once you are finished with the housing problem try the Education and Health portfolio to see if you can help them improve their outcomes. Good luck.

#60. Posted by Now What? on August 15, 2018

It is very true,  Many local GN staff move out of staff housing and go into public housing.  Many professional positions will remain vacant without housing provided.  Adam, look at the number of GN employees in public housing even those who have been working for several years.  Who does Education and Health employ?  Teachers and nurses, but Nunavut doesn’t need those. Let’s just place our Grade 12 grads in those jobs.

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