ADQ will 'make sure results come out of it.'

Opposition leader backs Nunavik plans


KUUJJUAQ – Mario Dumont, the leader of Action Démocratique du Québec, says he supports the creation of the new regional government and a separate provincial riding for Nunavik.

Dumont's backing is important because he's leader of the second-largest party in Quebec's national assembly.

The ADQ vote guarantees the final self-government agreement and any amendments to the Quebec electoral act will make it through the national assembly despite Premier Jean Charest's minority position in the current government.

Nunavik also seems to support Quebec's desire for more control over its affairs, Dumont said.

"People here want more autonomy … so they respect that Quebec wants more autonomy too within Canada," he said.

Dumont attended the first day of last week's Katimajiit meeting on economic and social development in Kuujjuaq.

Dumont said the ADQ, as the official opposition party in the Quebec National Assembly, will "make sure results come out of it."

Dumont arrived in Nunavik a day before the Katimajiit meeting because he said was interested in "looking and learning " more about how Nunavimmiut live.

Shortly after landing in Kuujjuaq on Aug. 22, Dumont went to Tasiujaq, where he toured the community with Mayor Peter Angnatuk.

After a visit to Ajagudak School, Dumont said he better appreciates how young Nunavik's population is compared to southern Quebec, where it would be impossible to find a school with 100 students in a community of 260.

Dumont said Quebec must make sure there are more educational opportunities and jobs in Nunavik so the region's students can become productive members of society.

"There are a lot of efforts to be made by Quebec to make sure people here feel really part of Quebec," Dumont said.

Dumont told reporters he "deeply believes" in economic development as a way of dealing with social problems.

The high cost of living in Nunavik was brought home to Dumont at the local co-op store, where he checked out the price of disposable diapers and bought a $4.10 bottle of lemonade.

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