Cancelled meeting deals financial blow to Clyde River
The people of Clyde River were counting on some badly-needed extra income from NTI’s annual general meeting. But last week’s bli ard blew it all away.
CLYDE RIVER — A three-day bli ard that shunted Nunavut Tungavik’s annual general meeting from Clyde River to Iqaluit also blew away a source of income for Clyde River resident’s.
“A lot of people were counting on the money they would receive from billets,” said Igah Hainnu, the hamlet’s deputy mayor.
As many as 91 NTI members and staff were expected to arrive in the hamlet for the four-day meeting and stay in the homes of local people, said Joelie Sanguya, a Qikiqtani Inuit Association representative and the person responsible for organizing the logistics of the meeting in Clyde River.
Sanguya said his list of people to be billeted did not include any media who might be on hand for the event. Hainnu said there were also relatives of NTI members who also were planning to attend the meeting.
“I’ve been working on this for over two months,” Sanguya said. “It looks like I did that for nothing.”
Kirt Egeesiak, an NTI spokesman said NTI was going to pay $80 a night for billets. With most of the attendees expected to arrive on the 25 of Oct. and leave on the following Saturday, a single billet could have meant as much as $400 in extra income for a local family.
“I would have liked the board members to come and see how it is here,” said Clyde River’s senior administrative officer Jonathan Palluq.
Palluq said he was hoping to bend the ear of NTI officials and make them aware of the difficulties his municipality is facing. With massive unemployment and a stifling housing shortage, Clyde River could use NTI’s help, Palluq said.
“I feel sorry for all those women who worked so hard making things for the meeting,” said Hainnu.
She said some local women made kamiks, amoutiks and other articles to sell to visitors.