Cleaning up the neighbourhood


I wonder how residents of part of Iqaluit feel about having their own city administration describe their residential neighbourhood as “undesirable.” (Nunatsiaq News, Feb. 18, 2005)

City council did right by refusing administration’s request to sell their staff housing and centralize senior city manager accommodation in a new 10-plex in the attractive Lake subdivision.

You can be certain it would have been luxurious and expensive, and it would have completely removed senior staff from the workings of the community and some of the problems of its less-affluent areas. Perhaps it could have been called “Little Westmount.”

Here are two better ideas:

Find some innovative ways to improve the neighbourhood in question. Paint it. Clean it. Spruce it up. Have some free recreational programs. Do something positive for the area.

Finally, follow your land claims obligations and hire and train local Inuit to fill these senior jobs that you want to recruit southerners for. Local Inuit need the jobs and have an entitlement to them. Hire local. And don’t assume that qualified local people have their own housing – they usually don’t – they’re usually sharing in overcrowded conditions. Provide them the existing housing, wherever it is, as a staff benefit.

Kenn Harper

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