It’s time to euthanize the Apex DEA


It’s hard to make a decision. You have to look at facts. You have to think. You have to act.

Worst of all, somebody may not like your decision. This poses a terrifying risk, because you might have to explain why you decided to do what you did. For a bureaucrat, that’s almost as terrifying as the thought of losing your pension.

All the above, perhaps, likely explains why the Government of Nunavut still can’t make a common-sense decision it should have made years ago: to euthanize the Apex District Education Authority and merge it with the Iqaluit District Education Authority.

In 2003, one person was nominated to serve on the seven-seat Apex DEA. After a week’s extension, six more turned up, enough to fill all seven seats but not enough to hold an election.

In 2006, no candidates were nominated. After a week’s extension, one candidate emerged. The other six seats were, apparently, filled by appointment.

Ditto for 2009, when no candidates turned up. After a week’s extension, three candidates emerged, not enough to form a legal quorum. We assume someone will soon try to dredge up four more warm bodies to fill out the seven-seat committee.

The irony is that if you were to add the Apex DEA’s three nominees to the five names generated by the Iqaluit DEA’s nomination drive, you would have eight names. That’s not only enough to populate a seven-member body, it’s also enough to warrant an actual election and the semblance of democratic legitimacy that an election would confer.

In any event, it’s probably safe to conclude that if those Iqaluit residents who happen to live in Apex won’t serve on the Apex DEA, neither will they complain should it disappear.

This ought to be sufficient justification for dumping the Apex entity and creating one Iqaluit-wide school committee, but there are even better reasons than that.

Apex is one of about half a dozen identifiable neighbourhoods in Iqaluit. Its claim to a distinct identity rests upon the distance created by a couple of hundred yards of pot-holed roadway. In all the things that matter — language, class, ethnicity — its population is now identical to the rest of Iqaluit. Apex is not a community. It’s a neighbourhood, just like Lower Base, Happy Valley and the Plateau.

There is no justification for creating a a government-funded school committee to serve a small neighbourhood that holds one small elementary school. Can you imagine a Lower Base District Education Authority? Of course not.

And there’s an even better reason than that for getting rid of the Apex school committee. The current state of affairs does not actually provide full representation to Apex residents. Like all other Iqaluit children, Apex children go to elementary school — the one their DEA looks after — only as far as Grade 5.

They spend their remaining six years — from Grade 6 to Grade 12 — at middle school and high school. It’s the Iqaluit District Education Authority that’s involved in the management of Iqaluit’s middle and high schools. The current arrangement prevents Apex residents from serving on that body.

GN, this is Earth calling: it’s time to make a decision. You know what you have to do. JB

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