Amagoalik must accept dissent


It is always amusing and unexpecting to read what “My Little Corner of Canada” has to say to the readers of Nunatsiaq News.

This is especially true when letters or comments are made concerning issues that will be affecting us all, no matter what the consequences may be, and “My Little Corner of Canada” disagrees. (April 4, 1997 edition)

One of the weakness I find, of some of the articles that John Amagoalik writes are the constant finger-pointing, which I know is his trade.

A lot of electors believe that even without a guaranteed equal number of seats for men and women, Nunavut’s legislature can become distinct and effective. It is a matter of being creative and innovative, and at the same time being open minded enough to explore other means of running the first-ever aboriginal government.

We certainly can keep the two-member scenario, but to have them open to everybody who feels they can do the job.

Directing electors to select a man and a women at the highest level would be a type of dictatorship.

The democratic process that all other Canadians enjoy would not be enjoyed by the residents of Nunavut. Nunavut residents would lose their rights to elect whomever they feel is capable ­ a right enjoyed by the rest of Canada.

If we keep the two seats open, we still will be able to elect a man and a woman. Or the seats might be filled by two women or two men. This scenario would be democratic and fair, and we would be exercising our rights under Canadian law.

I also want to point out clearly, that those of us who do not support what NIC is proposing are not against women, but against the process that NIC has proposed.

I am proud to say that I helped ensure that Inuit got what they deserved during the land claims negotiations. These negotiations that were intense and at times frustrating for all of us at the table.

But in the end we succeeded.

I don’t know about John A., who sometimes is referred to as “Father of Nunavut.” If he had held this grudge about everything and anyone who disagrees with him during the land claims negotiations, where would we Inuit be now?

Would we be preparing ourselves for the creation of a Nunavut government?

I can’t consider myself a member of the “Old Boys Club,” for I am still on the move, even after I concluded the Nunavut final agreement as the chief negotiator. I am still energetic enough to seek other challenging careers ahead of me.

Maybe, you, John, will become one of the first Liberal senators from Nunavut. But whatever you do, please try and have more respect for your fellow Nunavumiut and learn how to take constructive criticism at face value.

Paul Quassa

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