NEWS: Nunavik June 01, 2012 - 11:55 am

Nunavik will push to implement Plan Nunavik: KRG

"That’s the plan that we have and what we are now trying to do"


When a delegation of Inuit from Nunavik didn’t show up at a Quebec government-organized Plan Nord dinner earlier this year, officials in Quebec City got the point: Nunavik isn’t happy with Plan Nord.

During a later meeting with Kativik Regional Government chairperson Maggie Emudluk and Makivik Corp. president Jobie Tukkiapik, Quebec Premier Jean Charest apologized for the way his government had promoted its 25-year northern development scheme in Nunavik.

“Jean Charest apologized,” admitting he had made some mistakes, Emudluk said May 31 at a KRG meeting in Puvirnituq.

But the KRG is still waiting for action on Plan Nunavik, Nunavik: Past, Present and Future — its detailed response to Plan Nord.

“This is our vision for the future,” Emudluk said as she held a copy up of Plan Nunavik at the KRG meeting. “That’s how it is. That’s the plan that we have and what we are now trying to do.”

A electronic copy of Plan Nunavik should be posted on the KRG website next week.

The “pre-conditions to Nunavik Inuit support for the Plan Nord” listed in Plan Nunavik include:

• housing — Quebec must commit to a catch-up program in housing for 1,000 units;

• high cost of living — Quebec must address this “on an urgent basis;”

• essential services — Quebec must recognize that municipal infrastructure, telecommunications, municipal roads, drinking water, fire prevention, disposal of sewage and solid waste; policing and search and rescue are “all essential services,” which should get regular funding “and not on the current ad hoc basis;”

• health — health services need “additional human and financial resources from Quebec” that are “culturally-adapted;”

• education —  education services need “additional human and financial resources from Quebec” that are “culturally-adapted;”

• social services — the recommendations from the 2007 investigation from the Quebec human rights commission into the region’s youth protection system need to be implemented.

The moves to get Nunavik happier with Plan Nord include regular meetings of technical committees where representatives from Nunavik and Quebec can discuss issues, as well as roundtable sessions where top officials from Nunavik and Quebec will talk.

A forum to discuss Plan Nord and Plan Nunavik in Nunavik and other consultations will also be scheduled for the fall, Emudluk said. These will take place after people in Nunavik have a chance to read the Plan Nunavik, which should be available soon in Inuktitut, English and French printed version.

The KRG’s vice-chairperson Joseph Annahatak said “we can’t just sit back.” Annahatak promised the KRG would be “actively involved” in Plan Nord.

“We’re doing as much as we can,” he said.

Annahatak said he’s particularly concerned about the suggestion that Hydro Quebec may target the char-rich Payne River near his home community of Kangirsuk for a power project.

David Angutinguak, the KRG’s regional councillor for Aupaluk, where Oceanic Iron Ore Corp. wants to build a giant iron mine, said he’d just like to put the brakes on development.

Slowing down Plan Nord would be easier if Nunavik had more self-government, Angutinguak said.

Emudluk promised that the Kativik Environment Advisory Committee would help during a visit planned later this month to the community to make sure people in Aupaluk know their rights.