Inuit who collected CERB despite being ineligible shouldn’t have to repay, says NTI

“There was confusion and misunderstanding regarding CERB eligibility among Inuit,” says resolution passed at annual meeting

The board members of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. discuss issues ranging from COVID-19 to caribou during their annual general meeting, on Oct. 20 to Oct. 22, in Cambridge Bay. Clockwise from top left: Stanley Anablak, the president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association; NTI’s vice-president, James Eetoolook; NTI President Aluki Kotierk; Qikiqtani Inuit Association President P.J. Akeeagok; and QIA community board member, Levi Barnabas. (Photo courtesy of the GN)

By Jane George

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. is calling on the federal government to forgive any debts incurred by Inuit who collected the Canada Emergency Response Benefit when they were ineligible to do so during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NTI delegates said Nunavummiut should not be penalized because they took CERB benefits in one of many resolutions they passed on Thursday, Oct. 21, the final day of the organization’s annual general meeting in Cambridge Bay.

Inuit should not be “exposed to undue hardship through taking of benefits” and that any “benefits received in error are forgiven,” the resolution said.

Many Inuit didn’t understand that by accepting the money they would be penalized later, the resolution said.

The CERB was a temporary federal income support for people who had stopped working due to COVID-19, amounting to $500 a week for up to 16 weeks.

People who had earned more than $5,000 in the last 12 months from other employment were eligible to apply for the CERB.

When applying for the CERB, applicants did not need to provide proof they had been laid off or lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

As of June 28, more than 8,800 Nunavut residents had received the CERB, according to Statistics Canada.

In May and June, Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq repeatedly cautioned residents that the CERB was not “free money,” and that if you are not eligible to receive it, you will probably have to pay it back.

“It is a taxable benefit intended to help people who have been laid off or whose employment has been impacted because of the pandemic. If your circumstances have not changed because of COVID-19, please don’t access this program. If you are not eligible for this program, you will likely have to pay some or all of it back in the future,” Savikataaq said.

But NTI asserts that many Nunavummiut thought it was a universal benefit and applied in good faith: “there was confusion and misunderstanding regarding CERB eligibility among Inuit,” the resolution said.

Inuit living in extreme poverty are not in a position to repay, the resolution said, so NTI calls “on governments of Canada and Nunavut to address high risk of COVID-19” instead.

NTI calls for better housing, education, health and social services

Other resolutions asked the federal and territorial governments to improve conditions in education, health and housing.

A resolution on housing said governments need to make sure “basic human rights” are met and move to improve housing.

It also said that COVID-19 public health recommendations highlighted the need to deal with overcrowding and the lack of affordable housing among Nunavut Inuit.

Inadequate housing prevents Inuit from safeguarding themselves and practising physical distancing during the pandemic, the resolution said.

The resolution, which cited a recent Nunavut Housing Corp. report, said the government must adequately fund housing so Inuit can have their basic human rights met.

NTI delegates also asked for the governments of Nunavut and Canada to conduct a review of medical services and standards in Nunavut, “including the model of care, Inuit employment and transportation, and make the review publicly available.”

During the AGM, delegates heard how the Kitikmeot region lacks a medevac base for an air ambulance, resulting in longer response times during emergencies.

The resolution also mentioned NTI’s report on Nunavut infrastructure, released on Oct. 20, which said only 14 per cent have of Inuit have a regular health-care provider compared to 85 per cent of Canadians.

Delegates also asked for action to deal with suicide. They called for more specialized mental health units and better counselling, along with actions to reduce poverty and other social inequities that “cause distress among Inuit.”

The resolution said the Nunavut government must fulfill its commitment to “an Inuit-centric approach for community wellness.”

NTI says urban and rural Inuit need more programs and services

In another resolution, NTI said that the estimated 5,000 Nunavut Inuit who live in southern Canada also need access to more programs and services.

The resolution called for Ottawa to conduct an immediate needs assessment of Inuit living outside Nunavut that could guide the creation of new federally funded programs and services.

NTI wants help for Inuit business, offers a break to Grays Bay road and port project

Delegates also passed resolutions asking for stricter implementation of Article 24 of the Nunavut Agreement, which states Inuit firms should have priority over other companies competing for government contracts.

Municipalities are exempt from this policy, and the Nunavut government also finds ways to get around it, Tagaq Curley, the Kivalliq Inuit Association’s vice-president, told the AGM.

The resolution says the Nunavut government should use private equipment instead of municipally owned equipment for contracts, so Inuit workers and contractors can derive more benefit.

Kitikmeot Inuit Association President Stanley Anablak reads his report on the Grays Bay road and port project on Oct. 21 to delegates gathered in the Luke Novoligak Community Hall in Cambridge Bay. (Photo by Navalik Helen Tologonak)

Delegates also supported the Kitikmeot Inuit Association in its drive to see the $550-million Grays Bay road and port project move ahead by approving an interest-free loan to the KIA.

In 2018, NTI AGM delegates agreed to a 10-year loan of up to $7.25 million to the KIA from NTI’s Nunavut Inuit Development Fund for the project.

Those at this AGM moved to remove the 2.5 per cent interest charged on the loan to help Grays Bay get ready for environmental assessment “for its exceptional merits.”

Although progress slowed down due to COVID-19, getting the project “shovel ready” should now take two to three years, KIA President Stanley Anablak said during his report to the AGM.

Delegates seek increase in Dolphin and Union caribou quota

One of the main topics debated during the meeting—caribou management—was also addressed in a resolution.

Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq speaks to the NTI AGM on Oct. 20 about the implications of trying to ban online sales of caribou. (Photo courtesy of the GN)

Delegates called for an immediate change to the interim quota for the Dolphin and Union caribou herd and for the Nunavut government to immediately increase the interim total allowable harvest from one to two per cent of the herd’s population.

That would see the total allowable harvest rise to 84, up from 42.

The resolution says the 2018 herd population survey was “flawed” and that the interim quota goes against the Nunavut Agreement because it does not respect the role of Inuit in wildlife decisions.

The resolution also asked for the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board to conduct a full review of the total allowable harvest.

And it called on the Nunavut government to fully involve hunters, communities and their traditional knowledge in any new population surveys.

Delegates did not support a resolution asking for support for a campaign to educate Inuit about harvesting caribou to avoid wastage.

“We don’t need government to help us with that one.… It’s our internal Inuit problem,” Curley said.

But delegates decided not to move on clamping down on the sale of caribou on social media: that, Savikataaq said when he came to the AGM, would mean reopening the Nunavut Agreement to change the section that allows Inuit to sell or trade country foods like caribou or fish.

The next NTI AGM takes place in Iqaluit from Oct. 18 to Oct. 21, 2021.

No community feast took place in Cambridge Bay during the AGM due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, $2,500 was awarded to the community’s food bank and to elders who live at the continuing-care facility.

NTI President Aluki Kotierk also announced that the NTI board members approved the launch of a financial support program for elders, called Uqqujjait Innarnut.

The program will provide Nunavut Inuit elders, born between Jan. 1, 1949, and Dec. 31, 1955, with monthly payments of $120.

NTI also gave Emily Angulalik, the chair of Pitquhirnikkut Ilihautiniq/Kitikmeot Heritage Society, $10,000 to help with the society’s work to revitalize Inuinnaqtun.

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(88) Comments:

  1. Posted by NBK on

    Holy crap are you kidding NTI…. is the whole board on glue? “…thought it was a universal benefit and applied in good faith.” Booze, dope and vehicle rentals shot through the roof here in Cambay.

    • Posted by Randy on

      I recieved an over payment of 2 grand along with legit payments as my wife and I were out of work for 2.5 months..I choose to spend the 2 grand because we needed it. But I understand I have to pay back atleast that 2 grand back. As should ANYONE who took amd or spent monies that were either accidently given to you or in alot of these cases, Illegally taken. Just be happy government dont charge you with Fraud. Unbelievable

    • Posted by Winnie Piercey on

      Ummmm….if it has to be paid back…then it has to. Why shouldn’t they have to pay it back when everywhere else in canada… they do if they weren’t entitled.

    • Posted by josywales on

      NTI may not have their consultants within arm’s reach thus making a very bad, embarrassing proposal that colors all Inuit with a same stroke.
      Please NTI Board elected members, do not run again for the next election.

      • Posted by Lawyer shuffle on

        Their top lawyer for 15+ years was recently put out to pasture in Ottawa. He pretty much ran the show there because of NTI’s long run of incompetent presidents and CEOs. The current regime probably didn’t like that he had that much knowledge over them and asked him to step aside. Lucky him.

        You can expect to see more crazy resolutions like this over the next few years now that he’s not travelling to each meeting and saving their butts from more embarrassment.

        • Posted by Arch on

          Another trend happening in Nunavut. Too many insecure leaders at the helm.

    • Posted by Cambaymiut on

      One of the store managers in Cambridge Bay told me that when those first CERB payments arrived it was the biggest sales period they’d had in years, nearly beating Christmas.

  2. Posted by Sad on

    This is there is so Inuit are so willing to stay on Social Assistance. This is why so many Inuit do not want to better themselves with education and work. This is why so many Inuit are willing to commit fraud. It is well known that there will be assistance when it is time to penalize people for their dishonesty and lack of respect. Yes, there was no requirement to provide proof an individual lost work due to Covid-19 but when applying, people had questions to answer and people who worked and lost work were eligible. People on Social Assistance and did not qualify has to be dishonest, had to lie and they willing did so. Make them pay. They are giving hard working Inuit a very bad name and we all get painted with the same brush because of their lack of respect for anyone and their dishonesty to received mony that they are not eligible to receive. Make them pay and repercussions of their dishonesty and lack of respect for anyone.

    • Posted by Sacred on

      AMEN SAD, well said. It’s time to stop spoon feeding the Inuit population and holding their hands. Time to start making them ACCOUNTABLE for their actions and choices. They knew exactly what they were applying for. I don’t feel sorry for the client that will possibly pay taxes back.

      IT’S TIME FOR INUIT TO GROW UP

  3. Posted by Entitled NTI on

    It doesn’t take a long time in Nunavut to see the bottomless pit of entitlement NTI has against taxpayers.
    .
    HOW ABOUT PAY BACK THE PENALTIES WITH THE OVER $1 000 000 000 YOU SHOULD BE USING TO BETTER INUIT LIVES NOT JUST ENRICH THE WEALTHY INUIT?

    • Posted by Consistency on

      NO do not spend that money on mistakes individuals made. That money is to help us all, all Inuit not just a Inuk. Unless NTI runs a volunteer program that will provide services to all Inuit in their community. those that volunteer a certain amount of time can get help paying back some of what they owe do to the “confusion and misunderstanding regarding CERB eligibility”. We need to spend more time paying attention to details in documents.

      And NTI should use that BILLION on “better housing, education, health and social services”

  4. Posted by Stunned and Confused on

    I’m flabbergasted! There was no confusion. There were REPEATED announcements from the GN and the Premier telling folks not to commit fraud and apply if they weren’t eligible.

    I have no interest what one’s ethnicity is – if you committed fraud to collect this benefit, then you should sleep in the bed that you made.

    I can only figure that NTI knows that there are going to be a lot of folks in a world of hurt when the government starts to claw this back. I guess that I can applaud NTI’s attempt to support their stakeholders, but holy moley this completely the wrong way to go about it.

    • Posted by Gail on

      I agree with you. If the government forgives them than the rest of us will cry out for the same treatment

    • Posted by M webb on

      Confused? This is totally ridiculous..how can they possibly believe this was free money when the rest of the population knew better..come on, enough is enough..

  5. Posted by John K on

    Rules for thee but none for me. This is embarrassing… my white neighbour can’t use ignorance as an excuse but we can. Low energy laziness.

  6. Posted by The bar keeps going lower on

    Where was NTI when it was well known that CERB was being abused? Why didn’t they use their vast network of representatives and CLOs in each community to inform people who were taking CERB that it wasn’t meant to be used this way?
    .
    Here’s an idea: since NTI is so convinced that the people who defrauded the Canadian government were entitled to that money, why don’t they use the billions of dollars they have in their coffers to pay it off?

    • Posted by WOW, just WOW! on

      Maybe it’s time for the Federal Government to recover those fraudulent payments from NTI, if NTI don’t feels that Nunavut Inuit shouldn’t be held accountable form paying back that money. This is money they were never entitled to and they were reminded multiple times from the GN about this. Stop treating your population as irresponsible adults who can’t make honest adult decisions. Doing that, doesn’t allow people to grow and prosper. It’s times to cut the cord and let people make adult decisions and deal with the adult consequences of their actions. You owe them that much, they deserve more than that from you.

  7. Posted by Horse Hockey on

    At the time of application, the conditions of the CERB payments were explained to every applicant. In addition, the Premier of Nunavut publicly warned Nunavummiut against fraudulent applications. Despite these warnings, thousands of ineligible individuals stuck out their hands for “free money”. many of whom have not worked in years if ever. I personally have heard people brag that they signed up their imprisoned partners, applied in the name of their elders and kept the money for themselves, applied under multiple names etc. Now NTI wants to pretend that these simple folks did not understand what they were doing? Pull the other leg. It’s got bells on it.

  8. Posted by Northern Inuit on

    Excuse me but the smell of normal bullshit was just overwhelmingly taken overbuy this total bullshit!
    .
    NTI, what the hell were you thinking talking like this? Anyone who looked into this program knew damn well what they were doing.
    .
    Smarten up

  9. Posted by delbert on

    Please as elected leadership. Do not encourage dishonesty.

    • Posted by Forever Amazed on

      That is exactly what they are doing – encouraging dishonesty.

      Was always on the understanding that ignorance of the law was not a defense. Seems the same should be applied here also.

      If you did not rightfully qualify for CERB , you owe it back.

  10. Posted by General Mills on

    Incompetent, self-serving politicians never lose votes by arguing against personal responsibility.

  11. Posted by Failing Upwards on

    NTI scrambling to cover their hind quarters here. They know that come tax time, all these fraudsters will have their ill-gotten CERB $$$ clawed back from their Income Support benefits and will come crying to NTI to help them using the hundreds of millions they have in the bank.

  12. Posted by Crystal Clarity on

    Fraud was rampant when the CERB was announced. Who was elligible to apply couldn’t have been any clearer on the Government site , social media, news, local radio programs etc…… People knowingly applied because it was “free money” and easy to get. Taxpayers provided that money and people knowingly accessed it fraudulently. They should have to pay it back and any fines for making a fraudulent claim. NTI should keep its nose out of this issue altogether. It has nothing to do with them. NBK is right booze, drugs and machines were selling like hotcakes and now you want to give them a free ride for blatant fraud. Just stop already. If things get shut down again with the second wave let NTI cough up money for the fraudsters. Taxpayers don’t want to pay for them again.

  13. Posted by CERBIA on

    “There was confusion and misunderstanding regarding CERB eligibility among Inuit”
    .
    Is NTI the modern day Helen Keller? Keep piling more manure on this BS statement. Even if you blind deaf and dumb you would know you were committing fraud.
    .
    All the stores immediately sold out of high end TVs and electronics. Northern and Co-op made record profits. Bootleggers were signing up their “customers” so they could access the $$. Dope booze and TVs were the only things that were purchased with this money. Lucky there not being throwed in jail instead.
    .
    Instead of encouraging fraud, teach people their actions have consequences. Were all adults, lets be treated like adults.

    • Posted by concerned kabloona on

      CERBIA — I agree with your message but you need to rethink your reference to Helen Keller. She had terrible disabilities (and please, not “dumb”) but overcame them through determination, grit and hard work to have a brilliant and influential career, never making excuses. NTI could learn a lot from her life.

  14. Posted by Do I get any? on

    Seriously, if these people were able to defraud the government and get away with it because they’re beneficiaries does that mean every beneficiary that didn’t commit fraud will get the same amount? Fraud is fraud.

  15. Posted by Inuk in NU on

    Fraud is fraud, quit with the excuses, they all knew what they were doing and did it anyways! Be responsible for your dishonest actions!
    They knew what they were doing, let them pay for their lies.

  16. Posted by Areyoukidding on

    I wonder what other First Nation people across Canada would say about this story. Guess they should do they same and say they made a mistake and should not have to pay back also. I also would love to see the response to this story if the rest of Canada saw it.

    • Posted by Sarah on

      The rest of Canada *is* seeing this. The article came up on my Google news feed.

  17. Posted by Addressing the real issues on

    When will NTI address the elephant in the room? Too many people in nunavut are mortgaging their future for short term gain. CERB abuse isn’t the problem, it’s the symptom of a deep rooted problem. For some reason, too many people want money and will spend it all quickly.
    .
    I know the concept of money is ridiculous and maybe we can learn something from people who live day by day without worrying about the accumulation of wealth. But at what point does a person put 2 and 2 together and realize that blowing all your money and not putting some away for the future causes more pain than happiness?

  18. Posted by From the Urban Dictionary on

    The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations:
    .
    Not expecting disadvantaged people or minorities to meet the same standard of behaviour or achievement set for most people. It is called “soft bigotry” because it is a more subtle and subconscious form of prejudice.

    • Posted by Four steps backward on

      Good point… still low expectations 21 years into Nunavut.. Do we have to wait for another generation to grow up before things will finally change?

      • Posted by Soothsayer on

        Well, on the one hand there seems to be a line of thought in modern Inuit culture that frames the Inuit experience as one of perpetual victimhood. From there relations with Canada, as a whole, are always understood in terms of a binary between oppressed and oppressor. To me, that’s the ground this particular idea arose from.
        .
        On the other hand, if you read through these comments this is clearly not popular. How widespread that unpopularity is, who knows. Though I can imagine it is significant.
        .
        Will it take another generation? Maybe.. or maybe it will just take better leadership now. I don’t know, but good question.

        • Posted by Geneational on

          While leadership ( I hesitate to say ‘better’ as that implies there is some now) can’t hurt, I’m afraid that I am of the 2-3 more generations camp.

  19. Posted by Helen Klengenberg on

    Disappointed with NTI’s decision to support fraudsters. Inuit ikuplutik ukakhutik havaqpqtut, havaguikhimayut Covidmit, akiliktitahatik! People lied in their application saying they worked but lost their job due to Covid, they must pay it back.

  20. Posted by Christine on

    Honestly, NTI is making our Inuit look stupid! If they think not holding people accountable is the right thing to do in this matter and they are the ones representing us Inuit, then people must think there is not much hope for the rest of us!! How embarrassing. Shame on you NTI. Stop holding hands of the people who did wrong and support those that do right!!! You don’t have the right to spend money on this BS! Not a proud moment when those in power are thinking like this.

  21. Posted by Bert Rose on

    Paying taxes is not a penalty.
    NTI should not be accepting or making such fraudulent statements.

  22. Posted by Bull S#@* on

    Right — NTI should have been actively communicating with community reps to have them explain, reexplain how the CERB benefit worked. The Federal government was loud and clear telling people to be careful in applying for it to ensure that they were actually eligible.
    Nope –those who did not qualify need to pay it back and NTI needs to stay out of it– you look beyond foolish in proposing that people should not have to repay money they were not entitled to.

  23. Posted by Old trapper on

    Will I need my shear too if there not paying this money back 🤑March to now 2000.00 x 8 = $16000.00

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      Hey “Old trapper” I’ve asked you once before to think up your own user name as I don’t wish your comments to be confused with mine.
      .
      I’ve used “The Old Trapper” on these comments for about 20 years so if you don’t mind please use a different name.
      .
      Thanks.

      • Posted by Old Trapper on

        Msg. to ‘Old trapper’. The new program is CRB so u might qualify for that. But CERB program is over.

  24. Posted by Stupid is as stupid does on

    Sure let’s forgive it. Or better yet get NTI to pay it or anyone who didn’t get can get a big fat cheque as well. NTI has enough money, I mean their staff isn’t travelling right now to the cities to have parties.

    • Posted by This! on

      Right here… NTI should offer to pay it, absolutely.

  25. Posted by Ron Roach on

    Maybe Tagaq Curley has been away too long NTI, KIA and Sakku in the Kivalliq region do not follow Arcticle 24 them self. Kativik Ltd. is an approved company for NNI and none of theses companies has spend a penny in the store in years. They talk the talk but never walk the walk. The same can be said for most of the government Departments In this region.

    The only thing the NNI policy does is help a select group of Inuit who have formed holding companies with businesses down south and bid on contracts through that company that has no assets and expertises to do the job.

    NNI Policy should be for contrasts and services for a million or less that true Inuit Firms can bid on and do the work with local employees and keep the benefits in Nunavut.

    The money that is saved by changing the NNI policy for both the Nunavut Government and NTI would go a long way in building much needed housing units and for other services needed in Nunavut.

    As for the hamlets I don’t know about the other communities but the Hamlet of Rankin Inlet has been a great supporter of all small companies In the community and their business is greatly appreciated. The same can be said for three government departments in the region that have supported small businesses in the community for years.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      That’s because unlike government the Inuit organizations (NTI inlcuded) as well as their birthright corporations are not bound by Article 24 or the NNI policy (nor any of the other articles of the Agreement) and can therefore contract from whomever they choose.

  26. Posted by Wow just Wow on

    When you called in there were 3 simple questions, so you mean to tell me they didn’t understand every month when they reapplied? March, April, May, June, July, August, September.. 7 different applications and lied on every one of them, that is fraud. Senator Patterson, Advertised early on, that his staff was there to assist people when applying, did they advise people correctly? The GN warned people. People who applied for income support were receiving this. Their workers knew this, they still got income support and were told, don’t worry, the government will cover it. Meaning the GN. I fully support the initiative the government took to help those people who truly lost their income, yes income due to Covid. I do not support those who took advantage of the system, As a tax payer, I am incensed NTI would propose this. If that is the case, they can use settlement money held in trust to bail these people out. After all part of their mission statement includes the economic well being of a Inuit. Here you go. Don’t use my tax dollars to support crime. Thank you.

  27. Posted by Northern Guy on

    In all the months that the GN was repeatedly messaging on the pitfalls of erroneously applying for and receiving CERB benefits, where was NTI? Is it not their one and only job to look after the interests of Nunavut Inuit? Why were they not messaging this as well? And yet here we sit with tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars fraudulently received by Nunavut residents and NTI’s only response is that Inuit should be let off the hook because ” they didn’t know any better” … truly pathetic.

  28. Posted by Disgruntled on

    A few thoughts:
    1) NTI is basically saying that they think Inuit are too stupid to understand that fraudulently taking CERB was wrong. That’s incredibly insulting and demeaning to the people that they’re supposed to be serving.

    2) NTI status for government contracts is a joke. All any company has to do is pay a beneficiary to list their name, and any company can be an “Inuit firm”. It should just be done away with. Focus on Inuit labour amounts, and Inuit skill development/apprenticeships. This is what NNI should be all about

    3) Everyone and their grandmother knows that NHC doesn’t have enough money to build more houses – they can’t even keep up with maintaining the ones they already have. NTI has over $2B in the bank. It would cost $1B to solve the housing crisis. Time to put up or shut up, NTI. You can solve the housing crisis, but you refuse to do it.

  29. Posted by Wow just wow on

    So CERB is income that you are taxed on just like income for a job.

    Will NTI ask the feds not to tax people on their employment income next?

    The people that committed fraud are the ones that get big tax returns and maybe the big purchases they made with CERB are the ones they won’t be making when their tax return is low.

    Time value of money always says money in your pocket sooner is better but in this case there is a price to pay for it

  30. Posted by NTI= Inuit Mafia? on

    What the actual f***? Seriously? Is the NTI now the Inuit Mafia? Take money that you’re not entitled to and then not have to pay it back? What’s next? The NTI/ Inuit Mafia saying that its okay to rob, steal, and extort because people need the money? Shame on you Don Aluki- did someone make you an offer you couldn’t refuse?

    Inuit deserve better representation than this. She is portraying Inuit as being stupid, naive, and criminals. Inuit are better than what she is portraying them to be.

  31. Posted by Mark W. on

    “We deserve autonomy, self government, and freedom from a patriarchal government.”

    or

    “We’re too simple and stupid to understand basic concepts and ideas, and deserve to be forgiven for our stupidity.”

    Choose.

  32. Posted by Anon on

    Wtf?! Why is this even a discussion?! We are still sitting at 0 and have been since Covid started. We shouldn’t have been allowed to apply until certain amount of cases per community. Gvnt’s idea of ‘getting out of debt’ was to tax everyone who applied for it… eligible or not… The Queen doesn’t just offer us ‘free money’ for owning our land 🤦🏻‍♀️

  33. Posted by Arilia on

    Disgust, dishonesty, disheartening. This NTI leadership is incompetent. I really hope that our younger generation takes a good long refection on what these jokers are doing. The future generations are going to have to clean up the mess and live with the consequences. Aluki, James and Board you are a total embarrassment to this Territory. Inuit are not stupid as you all obviously think. Anyone that think its okay to give a pass to dishonesty and fraud has no place in leadership. Your actions flag that an external audit by Canada should be called and review NTI and the Inuit Organizations expenditures. If you are supporting fraud then how are you managing these organizations? Shame on you Aluki for allowing this and letting us wear it, so disappointed. And Stanley, enough already on the road and port, yawn.

  34. Posted by Glass half full? on

    On the plus side, let’s all appreciate that NTI has achieved something truly remarkable here: every comment so far has spoken out against NTI’s resolution.

    I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen so much solidarity in response to a Nunatsiaq article. Way to go, NTI – thanks for bringing us together as a community!

  35. Posted by iThink on

    A breathtaking spectacle of moral confusion and decay!
    .
    Shame on NTI for infantalizing Inuit! For ignoring their agency in the world, for telling them “it is okay to commit fraud,” how could you have known better? Shame!

  36. Posted by Inuk on

    Bet most, if not all who commented didn’t watch the AGM and all just responding to this article. Nunatsiaq News is as bad as National Inquire.

    • Posted by Wants Clarification on

      In response to “Inuk”‘s comment clarify for us if you don’t mind. What did Nunatsiaq News get wrong. How could they possibly confuse asking the government to forgive Inuits who didn’t understand and wrongly/fraudulent collected CERB. Sounds pretty straight forward to me. But if their News reported that incorrectly please enlighten all of us. What are they asking the Federal Government to do? Unfortunately the AGM was not televised where everyone lives so not everyone was privied to watch it. If you did please give us your take on the issue.

  37. Posted by Johnny on

    What a whack! Did not apply for cerb and opted for e.i. to respect the help.
    Then 24 days shy for elder aid just set up by age category.
    This is bias to all voter seniors of Nunavut.

  38. Posted by Responsible Adult on

    EVERYONE who was not entitled to it needs to repay it. Period.

  39. Posted by Chris on

    The constitution says we all have equal benefit and privdelage under the law. The elements of CERB law that descriminate(disqualify) for any reason are in violation of the aforementioned equality rights section. Section 52.1 of the Canada Act states that the inconsistancy(s) in “any other laws” are of no force or effect. Therefore everyone is elegible. Fraud for all the racist commentators has a mens rea component. This means the court must prove you knew what you were doing at the time, was in fact. The previous argument is, if not enough for a corrupt court to admit that no law was broken, qould be sufficent to demonstrate that what you did was a crime. As for the mandatory repayment make the same argument in civic court. If they try to simply take the money back without a court hearing file a 24.1 charter challenge and cote cruel and unusual punishment for the arbitrary application of monitary penality where one only exercised charter protected activity. Mainly accessing equal benefit under the (CERB) law.

    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      First off, the Canada Act is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom which was enacted in 1982 at the request of the Parliament of Canada, to “patriate” Canada’s constitution, ending the power of the British Parliament to amend the Constitution of Canada. Second, the Canadian Charter does not guarantee any of the rights you mention, so try again.

    • Posted by David on

      Great info. Thanks!!!!!

      Since reading this I have retired and I’m drawing CPP and OAS. I’m also disabled and on EI. Man…..I never knew the government had no choice but to give me this money. Life is good.

  40. Posted by Okay on

    NTI failed on this one. Replaced NTI with ABC, and this resolution will still be universally condemned. There is no school of ethical behaviour where NTI’s resolution is acceptable. A day of infamy for NTI – a total lack of moral leadership on this one.

  41. Posted by Taylor on

    Um no, they should pay it back like everyone else who shouldn’t have collected it. I didn’t apply for CERB because I knew I didn’t qualify, but I probably could have, and pretended like I was confused about it to avoid paying it back like these people want to do.. Quit being entitled and greedy

  42. Posted by Jason Brisson on

    Hey the first cerb of 2000 i got i had to pay it back so why can’t everyone stop bitching an pay it back youll get more

  43. Posted by Mitch on

    Yeah but hear me out i just worked a full construction season as a top paid laborer. I worked 6 days a week for the summer from may. I took home 25000 net. During that time the government ran up a debt of 20k a person and cerb recipients received 14k, so basically i worked all year risking covid and long hours every day spending money on fuel and quick eats from fast food spots so i could be 9k more rich then if i had sat at home doing nothing. Technically my whole season could be a loss come tax time if they look to finish gutting the working mans pay

  44. Posted by David Pineau on

    You are so on track. I to did not realize I had to pay it back and AISH took $900.00 off my check last month that was deducted, not to pay back the feds just the cost of making more than allowed. I get paid $1688 per month that’s below what the feds say is the min. Amount needed to survive which is of course $2000.00/month. Oh by the way, i got caught steeling food,which i have to do aometimes. Went to jail for a couple of months and now (I owe them $3600! I cant fathom how the provicial goverment and all other levels that have this; “We are doing all we can,”attitude when really there sitting at thinking maybe the’ll go play golf today.

  45. Posted by Solange Garson on

    The Inuit leaders shouldn’t look for an excuse to help those who fraudulently applied for CERB knowing they weren’t working. I’m a Cree lady from Manitoba and I was so hesitate to apply knowing I had to pay back..I’m an educator where my job was halted, thankfully I received one payment and switched to employment insurance. Ignorance will not fly with the government.

  46. Posted by Really? on

    Lol! People knew what they were doing. In our community, the GLO repeatedly made public announcements and facebooks announcements!! I know people that took it knowing it was fraud! Now that it’s not so easy to get, some are frantically looking for work! Lol!! My partner didn’t apply even though he qualified, instead he looked for work! Can’t wait till all those high end items start getting advertised for sale! I’ll take a new machine at half price 😆

  47. Posted by Michael Kurak on

    I find this interesting and am wondering whether there is some kind Inuit sense of communal ownership informing the decision. Call me naive. Anyway, it reminds me of a story that I read a few years ago about some government research station in the north. Apparently, the Inuit would “borrow” the snowmobiles owned by the station and abandon them when they ran out of gas. The researchers would then complain about the theft and these Inuit would request that they fill them up. Perhaps someone can find that story for me. I have lost it.

    • Posted by Please just stop on

      Clearly you mean well, but this comment is seriously infantalizing

      • Posted by Michael Kurak on

        Nonsense. Many cultures have a different sense of equity when it comes to the distribution of property than that held by the West. You seem to think that only your own perspective on the matter is the mature one.

        • Posted by No Moniker on

          Michael, tell me if this is the kind of ‘equity’ you’re referring to, because I see some similarities.
          .
          Last August following a looting spree in downtown Chicago, BLM organized a solidarity protest outside the police department in support of those arrested. In a speech Ariel Atkins, a BLM Chicago organizer said:
          .
          “I don’t care if somebody decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy’s or a Nike store because that makes sure that person eats. That makes sure that person has clothes. That is reparations. Anything they want to take, take it because these businesses have insurance.” Note, not all the businesses affected were large corporations, some were small and black owned.
          .
          About a week later National Public Radio (NPR) reviewed of a book by Vicky Osterweil
          titled ‘In Defense of Looting.’ In it Osterweil argued that looting: “does a number of important things. It gets people what they need for free immediately, which means that they are capable of living and reproducing their lives without having to rely on jobs or a wage — which, during COVID times, is widely unreliable or, particularly in these communities is often not available, or it comes at great risk. That’s looting’s most basic tactical power as a political mode of action.”
          .
          If you replace the word looting above with something like “fraudulently taking CERB’ you see the comparison.
          .
          Or maybe you have something else in mind? I’m sure I’m not the only one here who like to hear more.

          https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2020/08/27/906642178/one-authors-argument-in-defense-of-looting

          • Posted by Michael Kurak on

            I will explain this simply for you, since you appear to be having some difficulty understanding my reasoning. First, I need to clear up a misunderstanding. You appear to think that I am arguing that the relevant individuals should not have to pay the funds back. But I am not making any such argument. No one in any country is ever right to break its laws. Read the Crito or Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals, if you are able. I am simply wondering what would motivate the committee to make such a decision. I do not think that it is far fetched at all to suppose that the Inuit might, over the last 5,000 years or so, have developed a sense of equity that in not consistent with the CERB policy. This is a policy which shares communal wealth only with individuals who have experienced loss as the result of particular circumstances, rather than share wealth with everyone who might be in need. So I find it plausible that members of the council, who, I imagine, are looked up to in the community, are attempting to “share” wealth , which, of course, is not really theirs to share. What interests me, therefore, is what could possibly inform such a decision. I am interested in how it is that they find it permissible. I am interested in their defense of the action and suspect that this explanation of “well, some people did not really understand it” is not particularly well conceived attempt to pacify “us”. Hence, the witty comparison to BLM, etc., is a straw man.

        • Posted by Language Games on

          So Michael, what you are saying is that lying and committing fraud is okay, because to get CERB while being ineligible you had to lie, is really just a different way of thinking about ‘equity’? I’d like to hear your definition of equity because the only one I know that would relate to any of this is “the quality of being fair and impartial.” What we are talking about here doesn’t seem to fit that too well. So yes, please educate us, we clearly are not nearly as enlightened as you are on all this.

          • Posted by Michael Kurak on

            Please see my response to No Moniker above.

            • Posted by No Moniker on

              Thanks for clarifying and for your interesting response. Looking at possible motivations for NTI’s statement certainly raises the concern that this it is an attempt to inform a justification for what I’ve called the “looting” of CERB money, hence the analogy.
              .
              I’m not a cultural anthropologist or historian so I can’t and won’t attempt to answer the question as to how traditional or ancient cultural values around wealth distribution and equity might have animated this line of thinking (though I doubt this is the case, that is only an intuition—maybe you are right).
              .
              However, to speculate, and what I think is the more likely explanation: NTI knows the majority of people who received CERB fraudulently will absolutely be unable to repay this money without exponentially more hardship than many already experience due to poverty.
              .
              An unstated assumption from NTI’s perspective, and a point yet to be raised in these comments, might be that the government of Canada needs to own this mess, because in no small measure it has played an integral role in its creation. This seems like an important point that also needs to be discussed; though it should not be confused for a blanket statement of absolution for all the CERB sinners out there.

              • Posted by Michael Kurak on

                You make some good points and, as Osman, points out below, some people who were supposedly not economically impacted by Covid-19, were, in fact, economically impacted in indirect ways, such has having their welfare payments significantly delayed.

  48. Posted by Susan on

    Ok so what you’re saying is. It’s OK for Inuit to be crooks?

    • Posted by FreshOut on

      ….and we can keep rationalizing and finding irresponsible justifications for NTI’s recommendations. Irrespective of what we arrived at following such useless exercise, stealing remains stealing, looting is looting, and I see no difference between this CERB case and the BLM analogy provided by Moniker above. Every wrong doing without the applicable consequence is a call for repeated action. That’s why the territory has remained the way it is!

  49. Posted by what do you say? on

    Im sure some those comments author’s has asked the questions, when will NTI will help Nunavut-miut. tax payors nay sayors will now be glad to that NTI is now helping their fellow inuit. Because it doens’t benefit them which i’m sure it does, now you know where your taxes go now, they’re still crying out loaud on social media

  50. Posted by Osman Sami Çelebi on

    Sure NTI could be looking out for us Inuit, but what about the Inuit that didn’t apply? I for one didn’t apply, since I knew it had to be paid back. But for Inuit who lied, and claimed to have “worked” in the last twelve months. Got approved, lying and cheating the system. This was way much worse, once they got a hold of CERB, while still having Social Assistance, and lying to the Social Services that they didn’t not apply. But once Social Services started to ask for their card statements from Banks, they walked out in anger, trying to cheat the system. Since I was on welfare, because I wasn’t working. The system for Social Assistance was so backed up, that I, and many other Inuit who did not apply for CERB, had to wait for another two to three weeks from just to get our monthly assistance!

    In our community it was a bloody nightmare having to hear intoxicated Inuit, all parts of the day, and night!

    Once they got a hold of CERB, there were many drunk drivers, and drunken brawls.

    I would love to see, and for the Inuit that did not apply, get the something out of this.

  51. Posted by Abraham Tagalik on

    What did they do for us Members? nothing again?

  52. Posted by Darren Etibloena on

    This is absolutely the stupidest thing I’ve read lately. And you’re running in the news with the likes of Justin, Donald and the Republicans. Do you want to hold our hands to while we go to the washroom? If they fraudulently applied for this program let them reap the rewards. Everyone knew this was a taxed program. NTI, shame on you for even promoting this idea.

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