Christmas gifts we’d like to see
Have you ever wanted to give your friends the Christmas gifts they really deserve? Rather than the gifts they want?
Here’s our Christmas 2004 gifts, for a most deserving list of prominent people:
To Nunavut’s finance minister, Leona Agglukaq: a big jar of red ink to ensure the Nunavut government’s growing deficit is recorded accurately;
To the staff at Nunavut’s new, soon-to-be-opened regional health centres: a well-lubricated revolving door, to keep the departing staff from trampling their replacements;
To Kuujjuaq’s renowned singer, Charlie Adams, and his family: a three-week stay in the Montreal hotel of his choice, courtesy of the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services;
To Nunavut’s premier, Paul Okalik: a five-year gift certificate from a janitorial firm, to sweep up the dust gathering inside all the empty offices that are supposed to house Nunavut’s decentralized employees;
To hockey star Jordin Tootoo: a signed collective agreement between the NHL and his union and a chance to play with the Nashville Predators again;
To the prime minister of Canada, Paul Martin: a free pass on the Nunavut airline of his choice, because after every time he comes here, Nunavut always gets something from the federal government;
To Keith Peterson, the hardworking MLA for Cambridge Bay: a spot in cabinet by the end of next year;
To Ed Picco, Nunavut’s energy minister: a rubber suit to protect him from all the disgruntled power corporation customers who want to electrocute him;
To Iqaluit’s numerous break-in victims: free sets of leg-hold traps to catch thieves with;
To the president of the Nunavut Employees Union, Doug Workman: a big, new, over-sized filing cabinet to store all the grievances filed by abused GN workers;
To the Baffin Fisheries Coalition: a fleet of life-boats to escape on if the Commons standing committee on fisheries manages to sink them next year;
To the long-suffering residents of Kugluktuk: a new, finished arena, to give their many youthful lawbreakers something else to do besides theft and vandalism;
To Nunavut’s minister of health and social services, Levinia Brown: a midwifery program for Nunavut;
For Nunavut’s homeless and under-housed: a response from Ottawa to the recent GN-NTI housing proposal;
To Olayuk Akesuk, the first cabinet minister to be found in breach of the Integrity Act: an oversized novelty cheque he can use to get rid of his housing debts once and for all;
To Seemeega Aqpik of Kimmirut, one of the first Inuit to stake a claim on a gemstone site, and his brother Nowdluk, who noticed blue sapphires on an ATV ride: free gas for the rest of the year, courtesy of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development;
To Saul Kooktoook, Kokiak Peetooloot and David Tucktoo, the narwhal hunters of Taloyoak who are still defending their right to hunt marine mammals: a get out-of-court free ticket so they can take a day off and go hunting;
To Hunter Tootoo, Nunavut’s most talkative MLA: a notepad to keep track of his questions, and a tin-can-and-string telephone so he can hear what cabinet members are whispering about him;
To Iqaluit city council, and mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik: free cantilevers for everyone — if we all pull together, maybe we can get the sinking Arctic Winter Games Arena level again.
To Sheila Watt-Cloutier, the chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference: a white flag she can hand to Greenpeace the next time they run into each other in an alley somewhere.
To Sheila Fraser, the Auditor General of Canada: a pair of rubber gloves and a haz-mat suit for her next foray into the GN’s toxic financial management system. JB and SM