Income more than doubled over previous year, leaving QIA with bank balance of $7.4 million

Qikiqtani boss 'astounded' by revenue jump


The Qikiqtani Inuit Association board was struck silent for a moment during financial director Bob St. Eloi's financial report, when he pointed out that QIA's revenue for the last year had nearly doubled.

Overall income, including income from subsidiary organizations, rose from $67.5 million for the year ending March 31, 2007, to almost $124 million for the year ending last March 31.

"This is amazing… astounding," QIA President Thomasie Alikatuktuk finally managed to croak out. "We don't know what to say. We're tongue-tied."

St. Eloi explained that the rosy picture is almost exclusively the result of growth in the Qikiqtaaluk Corp., QIA's for-profit economic development branch.

QC's revenue grew from $48.3 million for the year ending March 31, 2007, to $106.3 million for the last fiscal year – a 120 per cent increase.

Expenses increased over the same period. But overall, QC's net income – or profit – more than doubled, from $2.9 million to $5.9 million.

QIA itself is a not-for-profit organization, but even it showed a net balance after expenses of $2 million for the fiscal year.

The balance sheet included dividends of $540,000 from QC, and $481,000 from shares in Nunasi Corp., which it co-owns with the other two regional Inuit organizations and Nunavut Tungavik Inc.

Land leases for the Mary River Project contributed $25,000 to the 2007-08 revenues, but those lease revenues will rise to $425,000 for the current fiscal year 2008-09.

At year end, QIA's own bank balance was $7.4 million.

"QIA financially is healthy and is doing fine," said St. Eloi.

A jubilant Alikatuktuk recalled a meeting in Kimmurut about six years ago, when it seemed "QC was in a risky position."

The current rosy financial picture "blows our minds," he said, "just like it blew our minds when it was going down the drain."

But "based on our directions," he added, "QC has continued to climb back up. It's clearly a very good success rate."

In his own written report, QC President Peter Keenainak warned QIA directors not to get too excited.

"The significant improvement in financial performance," he said, came largely from two projects:

  • the completion and sale of the $60 million Qikiqtani General Hospital to the Government of Nunavut; and
  • numerous contracts totalling $20 million to provide employment services, road service and training for the Baffinland Iron Mines project at Mary River.

"The financial statements for next year could be very different from this year," he reported.

QC's mandate is "to create meaningful economic, employment and career development opportunities for Inuit."

It wholly owns Qikiqtaaluk Properties Inc.; Baffin Gas Bar; Qikiqtaaluk Information Technology Corp.; and Qikiqtaaluk Logistics, which holds the Mary River contracts.

The Mary River contracts for the fiscal year employed 279 people, 243 of whom – or 87 per cent – were beneficiaries. Gross wages amounted to $6.1 million, an average of just under $22,000 a person.

QC also has significant joint-venture partnerships in fisheries, shipping, environmental work, construction and heavy equipment, fuel distribution, patient care and retail, including the Frobuild building supplies store.

Other highlights of the 2008-2008 year named by Keenainak include:

  • Larga Baffin (co-owned by QC and Nunasi Corp.) signed a 20-year contract with the Government of Nunavut for a new boarding home and services in Ottawa;
  • Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping Inc. (QC is a part owner with Sakku, Makivik Corp. and a Montreal company) bought a new vessel, Avataq;
  • Continuing contracts for camp services and clean-up on the FOX-C Dew Line site;
  • A new contract with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for clean-up at Cape Christian; and
  • More property purchases in Iqaluit.
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