Nunatsiaq News
EDITORIAL October 25, 2018 - 3:30 pm

It’s about nutrition, stupid

On Nutrition North Canada, the Liberals have painted themselves into a corner

JIM BELL

You have to feel just a little bit sorry—though not too sorry—for Northern Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc.

That’s because LeBlanc, appointed to the portfolio this past July 18, has inherited a no-win political headache: the federal government’s Nutrition North Canada food-subsidy program.

Prior...

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EDITORIAL September 06, 2018 - 11:00 am

Northern tax reform: an unfinished task

"The federal government should use the tax system to design a northern travel benefit that’s available to all tax-filers"

JIM BELL

If the Canada Revenue Agency and Canada’s governing Liberals believe they’ve managed to resolve the numerous complaints about the federal tax system that northern Canadians have been making for years, they had better think again.

The CRA, as Diane Lebouthillier, the minister of national revenue,...

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EDITORIAL August 21, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Patience. In time, the Edmonton Eskimos name will change

“The issue of Inuit being used as a sports team mascot matters”

JIM BELL

It’s likely to take much, much longer than some people might wish, but it’s only a matter of time before the Edmonton Eskimos football team decides to change its name.

And that will not occur because the name is or is not deemed offensive.

It will happen for a different reason: it’s the very idea...

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EDITORIAL August 08, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Paul Quassa’s fall was self-inflicted

Nunavut MLAs have shown their non-partisan legislature is glowing with health

JIM BELL

More than six weeks have passed since an overwhelming majority of MLAs, including nearly all the cabinet ministers, voted to remove Aggu MLA Paul Quassa from the Nunavut premiership.

Though MLAs used a power that’s been built into the territorial legislature from the very beginning, it was still...

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EDITORIAL August 01, 2018 - 2:30 pm

Nunavut’s failing airlines

"There is no one who matters less to northern airlines than the individual air traveller who uses his or her own money to pay"

JIM BELL

This editorial was originally published in November 2016. We’ve decided to share it with our readers once again, in light of the new merger talks between First Air and Canadian North.

There’s no doubt about it. The people of Nunavut hate their airlines with a venomous passion.

With the possible...

...

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EDITORIAL May 05, 2018 - 9:59 am

Nunavut’s latest government: what does it stand for?

On numerous issues that affect the day-to-day lives of residents, Nunavut’s premier and cabinet have nothing to say

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The current Nunavut government has held office since Nov. 21, 2017, when the 22 members elected to the Nunavut legislature this past Oct. 30 chose a premier and cabinet.

That was nearly six months ago. And yet this government still can’t declare what it stands for and what it plans to do.

They...

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EDITORIAL February 24, 2018 - 2:00 pm

The MMIWG inquiry served Nunavut well last week

The federal government must grant the extension the commission seeks

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

“Meltdown!”

“Chaos!”

“State of crisis!”

These represent just a few examples of the language used in national media reports over the past year and a half to describe the internal difficulties that have bedeviled the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls since its...

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EDITORIAL September 26, 2017 - 10:00 am

For Nunavut, it’s always about capacity

"Nunavut will do what Nunavut has the capacity to do, no more and no less"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Eighteen years after its creation, Canada’s third territory still functions on its worst days like the handicapped child of Confederation, dependent on an indifferent federal government to push its wheelchair.

Going all the way back to the planning period that preceded Nunavut’s birth, the most...

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EDITORIAL September 07, 2017 - 12:01 pm

Nunavut schools face a dark future

"Nunavut’s purported leaders have proven themselves incapable of forming a rational, coherent, evidence-based policy on Inuit language education"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

There are few forms of decline more painful to observe than the death of a language.

When a once-healthy language withers and dies, it’s an unmitigated loss, not only for those whose ancestors spoke it, but for the entire human race.

So even if the demands of those who oppose the Government of...

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EDITORIAL April 19, 2017 - 7:00 am

Cannabis regulation: Nunavut must take its time

“The GN must not feel bound by Ottawa’s timetable”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Thanks to the two cannabis bills that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government unveiled this past April 13, the Government of Nunavut now faces some tough political choices.

That’s because, if the Trudeau government’s plan works out, Parliament will pass Bill C-45 and Bill C-46 in time for the new...

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EDITORIAL March 08, 2017 - 1:10 pm

A rehab centre for Nunavut?

“You’re not going get a treatment centre in Nunavut by writing a letter to Santa Claus”

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

It’s a demand that for the past decade and a half has arisen over and over again in Nunavut: please, Mr. Government, please give us a treatment centre for alcohol and drug addiction.

The latest, though not the first and likely not the last, comes to us via Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA Paul Okalik, who has...

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EDITORIAL February 14, 2017 - 10:00 am

The Inuit-Crown agreement: big gesture, uncertain outcomes

Step one: reach out to territorial, provincial and regional governments

JIM BELL

Maybe you’re cynical about “committees.” Maybe you think those who work at the many entities involved in the governance of northern Canada spend way too much time talking and not nearly enough time acting. And maybe you think all those big shots you hear about in the media are all out to get...

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EDITORIAL November 22, 2016 - 4:00 pm

Nunavut’s failing airlines

"There is no one who matters less to northern airlines than the individual air traveller who uses his or her own money to pay"

JIM BELL

There’s no doubt about it. The people of Nunavut hate their airlines with a venomous passion.

With the possible exception of the two territorial retail chains, no business group generates more resentment and hostility. In Nunavut, the people love their airlines about as well as a lake trout loves...

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EDITORIAL August 30, 2016 - 2:30 pm

ITK’s big break with the past

"Embedded within its wooden verbiage, you’ll find an abrupt departure from the thinking of the recent past"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Like most documents of its type, the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami released last month is loaded with stilted bureaucratic euphemisms and academic jargon. It’s not an easy read.

But don’t let that put you off.

Embedded within its wooden verbiage, you’ll...

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EDITORIAL August 02, 2016 - 8:29 am

Tootoo’s bewildered constituents deserve more

PM Trudeau and MP Tootoo have mishandled this issue

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

In his brutally honest 1989 autobiography, the most accomplished member of Parliament to ever emerge from Canada’s three northern territories, the late Erik Nielsen of Yukon, offered eight pages of advice for new members of the House of Commons, including this stern warning: “avoid the degenerative...

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EDITORIAL June 16, 2016 - 8:30 am

The demon bootlegger?

"A law that will make everyone feel good and accomplish nothing"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

At around 6. a.m. on a Saturday morning she wakes up, head throbbing, hands trembling.

On the floor she sees a 40-ounce bottle of Smirnoff vodka. It’s empty. So she calls a cab.

She tells the driver to take her to a bank machine, where she asks him to wait. She returns with $300 or $400 and gives...

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EDITORIAL May 06, 2016 - 10:00 am

NTCL: the death of a hyped-up dream

"Tens of millions of dollars worth of collectively-owned Aboriginal wealth is likely to be incinerated"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

When Nunasi Corp. and the Inuvialuit Development Corp. teamed up to buy Northern Transportation Co. Ltd. from Ottawa in 1985 for $27 million, the creation of this new Aboriginal-owned company, a federal Crown corporation since 1944, was hyped as the start of a new golden age in northern economic...

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EDITORIAL January 05, 2016 - 1:10 pm

Five things to remember about 2015

Five events that will continue to haunt us in 2016

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

1. Mining: down but not quite out

Remember mining? A decade ago, federal and territorial governments and most of the Nunavut Inuit leadership touted mining as the great lever that would lift Nunavut out of poverty.

Yes, they paid lip service to tourism, arts and crafts and commercial fishing. But...

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EDITORIAL November 06, 2015 - 12:30 pm

The North and the Liberal regime

"Trudeau and Tootoo each come to power in the face of public expectations that are now higher than either politician can possibly fulfill"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

On Oct. 19, the Conservative Party of Canada’s dominance in northern Canada collapsed, blown away like a scrap of waste paper in a stiff breeze.

Northern Canadians, dependent as ever on federal government spending, will now turn hopefully to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s triumphant Liberals,...

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EDITORIAL October 09, 2015 - 11:00 am

Iqaluit’s three big tasks

"A municipal administration that’s bleeding from every orifice"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Look out, Iqaluit.

Those of you who still watch news on television will be well aware of the big federal election that’s scheduled for Oct. 19.

And most of you will, at least, have heard about the four people who seek to represent Nunavut in the House of Commons.

But there’s another election...

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EDITORIAL September 11, 2015 - 9:30 am

A weak election campaign cheats the voters

Nunavut's candidates? Whatever they’re doing, they’re not campaigning.

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The federal election campaign began more than four weeks ago, on Aug. 2.

But in Nunavut, you wouldn’t know it. The incumbent candidate, Conservative Leona Aglukkaq, did get her re-election effort off to a quick start and has already toured at least nine communities, including Iqaluit, where her...

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EDITORIAL August 07, 2015 - 8:22 am

Compulsory arbitration? Bring it back

"A meaningful alternative to the use of the strike as a weapon of last resort"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

There they go again. On strike.

On one side, there’s a clumsy, unprepared government employer that can barely communicate with itself, let alone the public.

On the other side, there’s an equally clumsy union whose members have spent the last three weeks hurling insults and libel at their fellow...

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EDITORIAL July 23, 2015 - 1:09 pm

A busy year for Mr. Clawback

"The federal government will pump a lot of money into your pocket this month. They also plan to take a lot of it back."

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Even as the first cheques from the Conservative government’s beefed-up version of the Universal Child Care Benefit found their way into mailboxes across the country this July 20, Conservative MPs were sounding the alarm.

Some people aren’t signed up! Apply now!

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, for...

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EDITORIAL July 08, 2015 - 3:50 pm

A celebration you say?

Does July 9 really stand for something worth celebrating?

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

This July 9, most Nunavut residents will mark the arrival of yet another Nunavut Day. Who knows? Some people might actually want to celebrate it.

It’s a great time to mingle with old friends and relatives and bond with your neighbours. In Iqaluit, the crowds will likely gather near the territory’s...

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EDITORIAL May 15, 2015 - 9:45 am

Good little Nunavut comes through

"Each side was able to cut its losses and declare victory — the best kind of compromise"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

When conservative-minded federal governments need a win on an Aboriginal issue, they often turn to Nunavut.

In 1991 and 1992, in the aftermath of the Oka crisis and other upheavals, the Progressive Conservative government badly needed a demonstration of goodwill on an Aboriginal issue. Good little...

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