Government of Nunavut settlement payments, by the numbers

Justice Department leads the pack

The Nunavut Department of Justice’s courthouse building in Iqaluit, where many Justice Department employees now work, when it was under construction in 2005. The largest total damage award payments that the GN has made over the past six years are for Justice Department employees. (File photo)

By Thomas Rohner
Special to Nunatsiaq News

The Government of Nunavut has paid nearly $369,000 in damages to employees over the last six fiscal years, according to information obtained by Nunatsiaq News.

The largest total payments ($130,640), single payment ($74,643) and average payment ($32,660) all belong to the same department: the Justice Department.

The Finance Department provided the data in a follow-up to an access-to-information request about settlement payments by the GN.

That request found the government paid out nearly $3 million in settlement payments.

“Damages are payments made for mental anguish, pain and suffering, usually awarded through a court or arbitration,” the Finance Department said.

“Settlement is a mutual agreement to terminate employment without asserting cause.”

In total the government made 24 damage payments over the last six years. The Health Department, which makes up about 21 per cent of the entire government workforce, had the greatest number of damage payments at eight.

The Justice Department had the next highest, at four, followed by five departments at two each.

The Justice Department’s average damage payment is twice the average of all damage payments ($15,367) in the six-year time period.

The Health Department paid the second-highest total amount for damages: $81,338. But the department’s average payment was $10,167.

Broken down by region, Iqaluit (nine), Baffin (six) and Kitikmeot (six) accounted for the most damage payments. Kivalliq-region employees only accounted for two.

Two-thirds of the damage payments were made to women—in-line with the gender breakdown of the government workforce.

But the damage payments went overwhelmingly towards non-Inuit: 19 of the 24 payments, or nearly 80 per cent. The breakdown of Inuit and non-Inuit employees has hovered around 50 per cent for most of the last decade.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Bias on

    The bias in this story is really quite something.

    Lets start by examining the photo chosen for the story, a picture specifically chosen as it was a photo of a Justice building looking raged and broken down, from 14 years ago.

    Lets continue by looking at the time period chosen for the article, not 3, 5 or 10 years as are commonly used for statistic analysis or comparison, but 6 years. I wonder if it made a certain department look worse to include the additional year…

    And finally lets finish by the absurd idea of averaging a data set of 6 or 4. There is no way that a data set that small has any kind of statistical significance. One single outlier could completely warp the figures. It’s four incidents over 6 years, it’s not really a story…unless you have some sort of grudge against a department.

    I guess when you spend your $25 on an ATIPP request you’re going to try and make your money off of it, but inventing the news to settle a personal vendetta against a department is just a new level of sad.

    • Posted by James Rondockett on

      I’m surprised your comment actually got posted! Last time I questioned the ability of a writer to put together a story that made sense, it got rejected at least a couple of times before it was worded nicely enough that it wasn’t a total blow to the writer’s skills.

  2. Posted by bias_was_theirs on

    these are people that stayed around to fight back, Intunuit probably could not take the abuse given out especially with Casual work and homes controlled by what was it Iqaluit or Cape Dorset was blamed by the manager was it not

  3. Posted by Tommy on

    Incompetency comes to mind.

  4. Posted by Mike Mann on

    A better story would be the people that were let go and didn’t complain.

    Hope there is a class action lawsuit soon.

  5. Posted by John Hines on

    $60,000 per year in “settlements” on a $1,640,000,000 payroll. Really.

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