Anawak to seek separate funding deal for Nunavut
Nunavut’s interim commissioner has begun hiring staff to help negotiate a raft of new intergovenmental agreements, including a separate funding deal with Ottawa.
“What we don’t particularly care to see is the funding for the government of the Northwest Territories split in half and given to Nunavut and the western Arctic,” Jack Anawak said.
Anawak has hired David Cravitz of Yellowknife as his principal secretary and Rankin Inlet resident Marius Tungilik as his director of human resources.
Tungilik is expected to begin Monday and part of his responsibilities will be to develop a comprehensive recruitment and employment plan for all positions in the Nunavut government at both regional and headquarters levels.
About 150 employees will be hired through the interim commissioner’s office for core government positions.
“Some staff we hire now may move on to the government of Nunavut,” Anawak said, adding he thought a “good portion of the GNWT staff” will also make the move.
In the meantime, Anawak must hire staff within his office to negotiate the funding arrangement between Nunavut and Ottawa.
Anawak said he wants a separate funding agreement for Nunavut, through either formula financing or block funding.
The interim commissioner will also hire staff to negotiate the more than 200 domestic and international agreements currently held by the GNWT.
“A good portion of them will just be signed over (to Nunavut), but there are some we will have to negotiate,” Anawak said.
The federal government has budgeted $10 million for the office of the interim commissioner until April 1, 1999, when the position will be eliminated. Anawak plans to operate offices in Iqaluit, Ottawa and Yellowknife.
The offices outside Iqaluit are necessary, he said, because most of the negotiations will take place in Ottawa and Yellowknife.
Anawak is guided in his position by a letter of instruction from the federal minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development outlining his duties and obligations.
The public document discusses restrictions on staffing procedures as well as training objectives and Inuit employment levels.