Nunavik orgs call for an assessment of Nutrition North
“No data exists to give us a clear picture of how the new program will affect Nunavimmiut”
Two public organizations in Nunavik want Ottawa to hold “direct and transparent consultations” with communities across the North” to assess the impacts of the Nutrition North.
The KRG and the health board say they will continue to urge Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to prove the program will actually benefit people living in the North.
“No data exists to give us a clear picture of how the new program will affect Nunavimmiut, especially the region’s most vulnerable residents: pregnant women, children and youth, elders, and single parents,” Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services Alasie Arngak said in a March 29 news release.
The health board and the Kativik Regional Government say the recent adjustments made to Nutrition North, meant to give retailers more time to prepare for its implementation, falls short of meeting their concerns about the program.
Federal health minister Leona Aglukkaq announced March 9 that Nutrition North would expand its list of foods eligible for subsidy to most food and non-food items that were covered under the former Food Mail Program prior to October 2010.
And Nutrition North was set to launch April 1. But now certain subsidies have been extended until October 2012.
“While the announcement appears to respond to the concerns expressed by Northerners over the last few months, it falls short of the KRG council resolution this past December [asking for an assessment],” said KRG chair Maggie Emudluk in the March 29 news release.
The health board passed a similar resolution in January,
The shortened list of food items eligible for subsidy in effect since October 2010 has had “disastrous impacts” in the North, the news release said.