Costs of closing communities too high

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The consultant’s draft report (Nunatsiaq News, October 29, 1999) on the future viability of some hamlets seems to come straight out of the 1940s and 1950s when senior government bureaucrats in Ottawa decided to relocate Inuit families for a number of reasons.

Okay, let’s suppose that the Nunavut government did the impossible and decided to follow through with all the recommendations in the report.

The first impossible task will be to convince the residents that they’re being uprooted.

The second impossible task will be to add 30 to 200 families to the public housing waiting list (remember the government’s out of money for public housing).

The third impossible task will be to find jobs for the exiles, a brilliant plan to boost the already astronomical unemployment rate.

The fourth impossible task will be to provide adequate services and staff to the near bankrupt health and social services boards to cope with the inevitable social problems that will follow, and so on.

There are other angles that the report failed to mention, such as the potential class action suits by the exiles because their mobility rights guaranteed under Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms were violated.

Sure, the costs of maintaining some communities are high, but these costs are invariably less than the costs of involuntary relocations.

Raymond Kaslak
Arviat

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