Low-key federal &#39dec;ision; also helps regulatory agencies

HTOs, boards to get funding boost


Nunavut's badly-underfunded hunter and trapper organizations should see a big funding boost by the end of the fiscal year.

So will Nunavut's institutions of public government: Nunavut's water board, impact review board, wildlife management board and planning commission.

Hunter and trapper organizations, or HTOs, only receive enough money to hire one part-time employee. They're expected to now each get $120,000 annually – an increase of more than 60 per cent.

While most federal spending increases are followed by a self-congratulatory public announcement, this one was not.

The funding increase was instead announced Nov. 23 by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The land claim organization says it's pleased more money is coming for these groups.

But it still has a few questions – and it has no plan to drop its $1 billion lawsuit against the federal government for not implementing the land claim.

The big land claim dispute still remains unresolved over who will pay to train Inuit to work in government.

Funding for these public bodies was considered one of the easier land claim disagreements to solve. An agreement had been struck by January 2006, with help from Thomas Berger, who had been appointed as conciliator to help resolve the land claim dispute.

NTI wants the federal government to make the funding increase retroactive to January 2006. Federal northern development officials wouldn't comment on this before the Nunatsiaq News deadline.

NTI says it first heard of the funding increase in early September, but made no official announcement until mid-November.

The land claim organization now plans to meet with affected organizations to ask if the new money is enough.

That's because NTI lawyers say the federal government may have "low-balled" the announcement to prevent further attention being drawn to other outstanding land claim commitments.

The funding increases for Nunavut's regulatory boards are as follows:

  • The Nunavut Impact Review Board gets $350,000 more per year – a 17 per cent increase;
  • The Nunavut Water Board gets $400,000 more per year – a 20 per cent increase;
  • The Nunavut Planning Commission gets $120,000 more per year – a 3.5 per cent increase.
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