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$12 million deal cuts grocery, airline and other costs

Quebec program delivers big savings for Nunavik consumers

By JANE GEORGE

Nunavimmiut have been getting a big break on their grocery bill since December, paying about 20 per cent less and saving anywhere from $22 to $43 a week.

The savings are on such items as milk, butter and eggs; apples and oranges; onions and potatoes; bread, pastas and rice; baking powder, flour and vegetable oil; and diapers, washing detergent and toilet paper.

But that's not all.

Inuit and non-Inuit residents of Nunavik can also get money back every time they buy an airline ticket, hunting equipment, furniture or ­vehicles.

These rebates are part of a $12 million, three-year deal with Quebec to reduce transportation costs for Nunavimmiut.

The money also helps subsidize the cost of gasoline. And it covered $500 cheques sent out to more than 560 Nunavik elders before Christmas.

To make sure everyone understands how to take full advantage of these money-saving programs, the Kativik Regional Government, which administers the programs, recently toured six Nunavik communities along the Hudson Strait – Kangirsuk, Quaqtaq, Kangiqsujuaq, Ivujivik and Salluit.

In each community, the KRG's executive, general manager and department directors spoke on the local FM about what they do, explaining various programs and asking for feedback from listeners.

KRG chairperson Maggie Emudluk said the tour also allowed the KRG, now in its 30th year, to renew personal contacts with local residents and regional government employees – including police, child care workers and employment agents – who work outside of the KRG's main office in Kuujjuaq.

Emudluk said the KRG is planning a similar tour to Ungava Bay communities next month after its regional council, with representatives from every Nunavik community, meets again in Kuujjuaq Feb. 23-26.

The regional council meetings, which are held four times a year, are open to the public and broadcast live on Nunavik's Inuttitut-language Taqramiut Nipingat Inc. network.

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