Nunatsiaq News
COMMENTARY November 02, 2018 - 7:35 am

Canada’s aviation policy should reflect the uniqueness of the North

Air transport regulations conflict with northern realities

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

SENATOR DENNIS PATTERSON

As a senator representing a territory with 25 fly-in-only communities, I and many Nunavummiut take great interest in changes to aviation regulations and policies.

The carbon tax, for instance, set to come into effect on Jan. 1, 2019, poses a major threat to further...

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COMMENTARY October 23, 2018 - 3:30 pm

How we solved an Arctic mercury mystery

Why marine mammals in the western Arctic are contaminated with more mercury than those in the east

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Feiyue Wang
University of Manitoba

In the Canadian Arctic, a mystery has troubled scientists and local communities for decades: Why do marine animals in the western Arctic have higher mercury levels than those in the east?

The trend is seen throughout the food web, from the tiny zooplankton that...

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COMMENTARY October 22, 2018 - 8:13 am

GN’s sexual harassment policy isn’t good enough

“It’s hard to see how the current GN policy could deter harassment, mostly because the process operates in secret”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

MARGARET HOLLIS

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about sexual harassment in the workplace.

The premier of Nunavut has promised a review of the Government of Nunavut’s sexual harassment policy, a good first step.The federal government has a sexual harassment policy too.

But what...

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COMMENTARY October 04, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Northern airline merger would be “disastrous” for northerners

“I hope federal regulators such as the Competition Bureau are watching”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

TRACEY GALLOWAY

As Makivik Corp. and the Inuvialuit Corporate Group finalize the merger of northern Canada’s two largest commercial air carriers, First Air and Canadian North, let’s pause for a moment and think about the impact of the proposed merger on people who live in the North.

Obviously,...

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COMMENTARY September 11, 2018 - 8:30 am

Igloolik’s Kingulliit helps make first feature film in the Haida language

Sgaawaay K'uuna (Edge of the Knife) produced by Jon Frantz of Kingulliit, formerly Isuma

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

LEONIE SANDERCOCK
University of British Columbia

Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife), which premiered at at the Toronto International Film Festival last week, is the first feature film about the Haida people in the Haida language.

The mystery-thriller, directed by Gwaai Edenshaw and Helen......

...

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COMMENTARY September 10, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Canada is unprepared for the dangers of increased Arctic shipping

"There is a lot that can and needs to be done to reduce future risks"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

EDWARD STRUZIK
Queen’s University, Ontario

I was aboard the 364-foot Russian research cruise ship Akademik Ioffe when it came to a violent stop after grounding on a shoal in a remote region of the Gulf of Boothia in Canada’s Arctic.

Fortunately, none of the 102 passengers and 24 crew members...

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COMMENTARY July 23, 2018 - 9:30 am

Legal Ease, July 23

Limits of the law

JAMES MORTON

The law does not deal with everything. And that’s a good thing—one definition of a totalitarian state is a place where everything is prescribed, from what you say, to what you think, to where you live and what you do in your spare time.

In Canada, most things are not governed in a prescriptive way...

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COMMENTARY July 11, 2018 - 10:17 am

Legal Ease, July 11

What is criminal assault?

JAMES MORTON

The concept of criminal assault is a fairly simple one: it is a criminal offence to hit other people.

Unfortunately, as with many legal concepts, the simplicity of a basic assault gets complicated because life is complicated.

First, as a technical matter, an assault takes place whenever you touch...

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COMMENTARY July 10, 2018 - 2:15 pm

Beyond the headlines, July 10

In an era of Facebook and “fake news,” media literacy is more important than ever

THOMAS ROHNER

If you trust news outlets to hold government and corporations accountable, who holds the media accountable? The short answer is people like you, readers of Nunatsiaq News.

But that’s not always an easy task. Even with Nunavut’s slow internet speeds and low internet access, Nunavummiut are...

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COMMENTARY July 04, 2018 - 10:29 am

Legal Ease, July 4

What is a conditional discharge?

JAMES MORTON

After a criminal trial where there is a conviction, or following a guilty plea, the judge has the difficult job of sentencing the accused.

In Canada, the sentencing process is very discretionary, and judges, in most cases, can legally impose sentences ranging from (in effect) telling the accused...

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COMMENTARY June 07, 2018 - 10:30 am

Legal Ease, June 7

Complaint letters

JAMES MORTON

Life doesn’t always work the way it should. Sometimes you order something and when it arrives it’s defective, or it performs badly.

In theory you can sue in court, but even if you go to small claims court, a lawsuit is expensive and time-consuming.

Trying to avoid court is a good idea. That said,...

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COMMENTARY June 05, 2018 - 8:00 am

The Nunavut carbon price two-step

“Canada and Nunavut need to get their collective act together”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

ALEX BUCHAN
Nunavut Vice President
Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines

Exploration companies and mineral producers in Nunavut spend a great deal of time, effort and money dealing with fossil fuels.

This is for good reason. It is our biggest cost factor in operating in this remote,...

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COMMENTARY May 29, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Legal Ease, May 29

How to fire your lawyer

JAMES MORTON

When you have a lawyer, that lawyer has a duty to protect your interests as best they can.

But your lawyer is your agent, and if you do not feel satisfied with what your lawyer is doing, you can always fire your lawyer.

Similarly, in some but not all circumstances, your lawyer can...

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COMMENTARY May 18, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Legal Ease, May 18

How do appeals work?

JAMES MORTON

As I write this column, I am waiting to be heard by a judge on a motion to extend the time to bring an appeal.

What that means is the person who lost at trial did not bring an appeal within the allotted time, and so, unless an extension is granted, the appeal will be dead.

One of the elements to...

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COMMENTARY May 11, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Legal Ease, May 11

Bad neighbours

JAMES MORTON

Sometimes it’s hard having neighbours.

It’s true that a neighbour can be a genuine lifesaver if, say, your house catches fire, or there is a medical emergency and you need someone to help right away.

But sometimes neighbours can be loud and obnoxious and cause all kinds of grief.

The law is...

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COMMENTARY May 04, 2018 - 9:30 am

Legal Ease, May 4

Special rules for Nunavut courts

JAMES MORTON

About a year ago I wrote a column on the right to a speedy criminal trial.

A speedy trial in criminal cases ensures that justice is done promptly and that witnesses who testify do so when their memories remain reasonably fresh.

A speedy trial is good for the accused, the complainant and the...

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COMMENTARY April 27, 2018 - 10:30 am

Legal Ease, April 27

Legal interpretation

JAMES MORTON

Legal language in statutes, or laws passed by legislative bodies, is sometimes hard to figure out.

That’s because a statute has to write down a general rule that applies to all cases, and that is more difficult than you might expect.

Consider, for example, a criminal law against cutting people...

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COMMENTARY April 20, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Legal Ease, April 20

What does a waiver mean?

JAMES MORTON

Almost any time you go into any sports or recreational activity you have to sign a waiver.

It’s the sort of thing written in fancy language that’s hard to follow in detail, but which amounts to a statement that no matter what happens, you can’t sue anyone for anything.

The idea is to protect the...

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COMMENTARY April 17, 2018 - 10:30 am

Legal Ease, April 17

Does the judge have to accept a plea deal?

JAMES MORTON

Plea deals are a central part of criminal law.

For better or worse—and there are reasonable arguments saying plea deals are not a good idea—our criminal justice system is based on the fact that the vast majority of cases are resolved without a trial.

If that were not the case, the number of...

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COMMENTARY April 09, 2018 - 8:00 am

More than one in 100 Nunavut infants have tuberculosis

"Nobody fully knows the extent of the outbreak."

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

SARAH GILES
University of Ottawa

Canada’s simmering tuberculosis outbreak in northern communities is likely much worse than suspected.

A report newly obtained through an access-to-information request (embedded below) reveals that the incidence rate of TB among Nunavut’s infants—under one year of...

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COMMENTARY April 07, 2018 - 12:45 pm

Required reading: new owners in our own land!

“To build a Nunavut economy on one of our greatest strengths—minerals and the mining of them”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

ALEX BUCHAN
Nunavut Vice President
Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines

A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts with readers from a presentation I gave at the Northern Lights Conference in Ottawa. I reminded the largely southern audience that it was 25 years ago this year that we...

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COMMENTARY April 06, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Legal Ease, April 6

Joining the RCMP

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

There is no more responsible or important job than being a police officer.

Society, rightly, gives special powers to police officers to enforce the law and make sure the community is protected and safe.

And the work of the RCMP is not limited to law enforcement—the RCMP is a part of the larger...

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COMMENTARY April 02, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Legal Ease, April 2

Who gets the dog if we break up?

JAMES MORTON

When a couple splits up, they divide up their stuff.

Entire legal careers are based on the division of assets, and there is an extensive legislative and case law history about who gets what when couples split.

Obviously, it is better to divide up your stuff on the basis of mutual agreement.

But...

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COMMENTARY April 02, 2018 - 11:30 am

Remembering Louie Kamookak, a wellspring of Inuit traditional knowledge

“His like will not be seen again”

SPECIAL TO NUNATSIAQ NEWS

RUSSELL POTTER

In the history of the modern revival of interest in the fate of the Franklin expedition, there’s really only one man whose presence links it all together: Louie Kamookak.

He played a central role for more than three decades in one of Canada’s most enduringly fascinating mysteries:...

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COMMENTARY March 26, 2018 - 11:30 am

Legal Ease, March 26

Urgent orders

JAMES MORTON

Civil law cases are painfully slow.

Even the simplest case in small claims court takes months to complete and more complex cases can go on for years.

Unfortunately, lawsuits take time and no fair legal system can make them run much faster.

Facts have to be gathered, witnesses interviewed,...

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