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For the record: Arlooktoo calls for unity

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Like many of his colleagues, NWT deputy premier Goo Arlooktoo is growing worried about the development of a power struggle pitting the GNWT against Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Nunavut Implementation Commission.

Arlooktoo says Nunatsiaq News has played a role in fueling that conflict.

Here’s what he had to say Friday, Feb 14, as he prepared for the Nunavut leaders’ summit in Cambridge Bay.

HON. GOO ARLOOKTOO:Mr. Speaker, as the day when the territory of Nunavut will become a reality draws nearer, the enormity of the tasks before us grows larger.

The gap between what is expected from the new government is closer to home and what is actually achievable in the time allowed, will be a great challenge, to say the least. This is especially due to the amount of social, economic and educational challenges before us, coupled with the fiscal problems that our government faces today.

Having said that, Mr. Speaker, I see no shortage of will and energy amongst the people of Nunavut in meeting the goals and obligations of this great dream of our own government, north of the treeline…

One area that I feel a sense of responsibility to speak out on today, Mr. Speaker, is a lack of unity amongst the main groups charged with the building of Nunavut.

For various reasons, the leadership of Nunavut has become increasingly divided in the last few years. It was less than two years ago that I became an MLA with the greatest intentions of making things work.

Like other Nunavut leaders, I have tried not to stray from that course, but too often individual concerns, priorities and agendas are threatening our focus on the plan for Nunavut. We cannot afford to be divided at this time.

As in the past, when faced with major challenges or threats, we can survive and prosper only if we set aside differences and work together.

I am appealing to all for us to sit back, reflect on our actions and choose a path that reflects cooperation, not competition, solidarity, not division and, most importantly, achieve our dream for Nunavut. All the leaders, including myself, need to reflect on our actions and positions today and how that will have an effect on the ongoing work required to reach our goals.

It is also my view, Mr. Speaker, that the largest print media in Nunavut, the Nunatsiaq News, also needs to reflect on the role it has played in constantly highlighting and fuelling the fires of disagreements between Nunavut leaders over the last few years.

Also, once again Mr. Speaker, I call upon the GNWT, all MLAs, NTI and the federal government, to rise above their differences to ensure that the progress made to date is not jeopardized.

Finally, Mr. Speaker, I also call upon the NIC to assist us in making a smooth transition from planning for implementation to actual implementation along with an interim Commissioner. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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