Nunatsiaq News
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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EDITORIAL April 21, 2015 - 7:59 am

Nunavut must start earlier detection of cancer

"Too many people die before their time"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Nothing illustrates the Nunavut government’s negligent approach to the early detection of cancer better than this message: “No services were found in your area.”

That’s from the website of the Canadian Cancer Society. You’ll see it if you search an area of their site set up for people who want...

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EDITORIAL March 20, 2015 - 7:15 am

A gutsy move on language standardization

"We hope Nunavut residents will keep their minds open to the use of Roman orthography"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

As the people of Nunavut contemplate the tarnished dream of April 1, 1999, it’s worth noting that not all is lost.

Just last week, we saw that when elected leaders make decisive use of the powerful instruments that the Nunavut project put into their hands, they can move on from the dithering and...

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EDITORIAL January 09, 2015 - 9:15 am

Nunavut needs a new social contract

"Those at the top are doing better and those at the bottom are doing worse."

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq’s many detractors enjoyed a delightful month last November.

Their most pleasurable moments likely occurred after the airing of a televised documentary containing footage of people foraging for food at the Rankin Inlet dump. Some of that criticism was fair and some of it...

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EDITORIAL October 24, 2014 - 2:03 pm

Iqaluit’s taxi drivers deserve a raise

"No business anywhere can improve service if it’s deprived of revenue"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The next time you catch some Nunavut official babbling about “self-reliance,” do this: point them in the direction of an underpaid Iqaluit taxi driver.

Amidst what passes for the private sector in Nunavut, the taxi business stands out, along with only a few others, for the ability of its owners...

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EDITORIAL October 09, 2014 - 2:59 pm

Is Valcourt serious about Nunavut devolution?

"Until this past Oct. 3, the federal government’s approach to Nunavut devolution was simple: rag the puck and keep stalling."

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Do Ottawa officials now believe that Nunavut has recovered from the underfunded, understaffed mess that emerged in the years that followed the territory’s creation on April 1, 1999?

That’s one way to interpret Bernard Valcourt’s apparent conversion to the belief that it’s now desirable to transfer...

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EDITORIAL August 20, 2014 - 7:26 am

A bad idea

"It’s not in the public interest to use scarce funds that would otherwise go to public governments"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

It’s no surprise that northern Canada’s private Inuit associations and birthright corporations are delighted to learn that Ottawa has just made them eligible to take money out of two big federal government infrastructure funds: the New Canada Building Fund and the P3 Canada.

But it’s a bad idea....

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EDITORIAL August 12, 2014 - 1:30 pm

The ICC: fractured Arctic, uncertain future?

"The people of the Arctic are badly divided over oil and gas development"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Corrected Aug. 13, 1:45 p.m.

The Inuit Circumpolar Council: does anyone care anymore?

A few people, perhaps. It’s evident these days that only tiny numbers of regular people in Nunavut and Nunavik pay much attention to the ICC, which wrapped up its latest general assembly in Inuvik late last...

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EDITORIAL July 08, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Valcourt picks the lose-lose option

The federal government has poisoned its relationship with the people of the High Arctic

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

When faced with the question of what to do about the prospect of seismic testing for potential oil and gas reserves in Davis Strait and Baffin Bay, Bernard Valcourt, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, likely had more policy choices available to him than he has yet been...

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EDITORIAL June 06, 2014 - 7:21 am

By the numbers

"Those who lack a basic knowledge of numbers are condemned to poverty and powerlessness."

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Take heed, educators.

When Joe Savikataaq, the MLA for Arviat South, rose in the legislative assembly May 26 to ask that the Department of Education — as soon as possible — begin teaching mathematics in English from kindergarten onwards, he issued a statement that challenges the Nunavut Education...

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EDITORIAL April 22, 2014 - 12:34 pm

Should Nunavut build a university?

Does Canada need an Arctic university? The answer to that question is yes.

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

When James Nasso, the chair of Agnico Eagle’s board of directors, declared April 10 that his firm would donate $5 million to a future Nunavut university, a sympathetic audience of mining symposium delegates gave him a standing ovation.

When we published the ensuing story on our website, the issue...

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EDITORIAL March 12, 2014 - 8:04 am

Did the MLA for Uqqummiut get due process?

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Samuel Nuqingaq, the beleaguered MLA for Uqqummiut, does not likely inspire much public sympathy these days.

Even before he took his oath of office this past fall, he got into trouble with his peers. He missed two days of orientation and slept through the morning segment of their Nov. 15...

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EDITORIAL February 11, 2014 - 7:21 am

Nunavut and Nunavik need the Senate

"You have nothing to gain and much to lose if the Senate were abolished"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Who needs the Senate?

If you live in Nunavut or Nunavik, you may not like whoever happens to represent you in the Senate right now. You may not like the arbitrary means by which the prime minister of the day appointed them. And you may be appalled by the Senate expense claim scandals that have...

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EDITORIAL December 17, 2013 - 2:16 pm

Nunavut schools: stop the lying, stop the fantasizing

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Most of us heard Nunavut’s new premier, Peter Taptuna, respond late last month to the territorial election campaign’s biggest issue. He declared his government will bring an immediate end to a longstanding practice that parents, employers and young people are sick and tired of: social...

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