Kangirsuk keeps reintegration centre

“Halfway house” means six jobs



Kangirsuk will hold on to a handful of precious jobs, after the Quebec and Kativik governments officially announced that a new Makitautik reintegration centre for male offenders will be built in the Ungava Bay community.

Jacques Chagnon, minister of public security, Minnie Airo, president of the Makitautik centre’s board, and Johnny Adams, chair of the Kativik Regional Government, signed the $3 million agreement during Chagnon’s August 10 and 11 tour of Nunavik.

In an interview with Nunatsiaq News after the ceremony, Chagnon acknowledged that the regional government’s talks on a new centre began under the former Parti Québécois government.

But, as a member of the treasury board who has also worked extensively in southern school systems, he was only too happy to champion the project.

“This will help 14 youths [men] avoid jail and help them reshape their way of doing things” he said. “So I concluded this file and went to the treasury board and convinced them to go ahead with this project.”

Joseph Annahatak, Kangirsuk’s mayor, was also pleased with the decision – albeit for other reasons.

“It creates six full time jobs here, and I would hate to see it go from here. The people have worked very hard. It also creates jobs for night guards and sometimes hires local elders as guides on excursions,” he said.

There is already a centre in Kangirsuk, but the building is old and cramped. The new facility should be built by 2004, and will have 14 spaces.

Chagnon said he would support the idea of a similar facility for Nunavik’s other coast.

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