Kugaaruk bans “house gambling” as Nunavut hamlets double down on social distancing

Kinngait enters shut-down mode as of March 24

The Hamlet of Kugaaruk has passed a bylaw banning all non-business food and bake sales, as well as “house gambling” and all travel into the community. (Creative Commons photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

Some Nunavut hamlets are redoubling their efforts to encourage social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hamlet council in Kugaaruk passed this bylaw on March 23. (Click to enlarge)

In Kugaaruk, activities such as “house gambling” and all non-business food and bake sales are banned for the next three weeks, following the passage of a new bylaw by the local hamlet council on Monday, March 23.

That bylaw also closes all public facilities in the community and bans all air passenger travel into Kugaaruk, plus all land travel from other communities.

Kugaaruk, a small community in eastern Kitikmeot with a population of about 950 people, passed the bylaw as part of a declaration of medical emergency under the Nunavut Hamlets Act.

Kinngait closes all hamlet facilities

Another Nunavut hamlet, Kinngait, has stopped collecting water, sewage and garbage fees until further notice.

And as of Tuesday, March 24, all hamlet facilities in Kinngait are closed until further notice, the hamlet’s mayor, Timoon Toonoo, said in a series of public notices sent to Nunatsiaq News.

“Access is by appointment only,” the notice says.

And all hamlet permits, including business licences, leases, and permits for radio, are extended until further notice.

Another local institution, the Kenojuak Cultural Centre, is also closed until further notice.

On March 18, the hamlet had cancelled all recreation and recreation facilities until April 7, when the move would be re-assessed, and they also discourage all travel into the community.

“In a public advisory, the Hamlet of Kinngait (Cape Dorset) asks those planning to travel to the community to reconsider and delay travel to later dates,” the hamlet said.

As of Tuesday, March 24, no confirmed cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Nunavut.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by They Don’t Have the Authority on

    Within the Hamlets Act the municipality does not have authority over Airport operations, and does not have the ability to refuse entry to those coming in off the land from other communities. I would also not that house gambling and selling of food that is not prepared in inspected facility is already illegal and almost impossible to control. The Hamlets should refocus their efforts on things they can control such as enacting curfews. Hamlet councils need to be informed by CGS and its Minister on this!

  2. Posted by Piitaqanngi on

    Do hamlets even have the authority to forego collecting fees for municipal services? How will they even enforce these measures? Do Bylaw officers enforce them? Perhaps the RCMP?

  3. Posted by Annie on

    Kugaaruk doing what old time Inuit culture used to do. Isolate their own group & kick out or keep out anyone they didn’t want in group. It’s their community & they are doing what is best for their people. 👍🙏

  4. Posted by Atatsiak on

    Thats cool and all, but household gambling is illegal anyways so I don’t see why they included it.
    3 readings all in the same day, wow congrats.
    Spend time with your family, remember to wash your hands.
    Tell people you love them.

  5. Posted by 14 days on

    I am guessing 14 days is not enough time to starve. It enough time to run out of cigarettes. Distibution of coffee, tea, flour, lard and baking powder would be a good idea when total shut down comes.

  6. Posted by up on

    are you f serious? questioning the hamlet keeping its people safe ! you are non inuit for sure and you must have taken your vacation already.

    • Posted by Zero Importance on

      What type of Canadian he or she is is zero importance. What is important is listening to his or her opinion, whether you agree or not.

  7. Posted by Water, sewage essential! on

    Stopping water, sewage and garbage collection which is very essential is going way too far!

    They are not even in direct contact with others anyway: driving in twos in their machinery.

    I would oppose it if I were kinngamiuk

    • Posted by Paul Murphy on

      One of us is reading the article wrong. I read they have stop collecting the FEES for the water garbage and sewage.

  8. Posted by Please stay home on

    This is wrong in many ways. You have to have a common sense to prevent the spread of the virus. Did you guys forget the only way to prevent this is by washing your hands, disinfect, physical distancing as much as possible?

    Physical distancing sounds impossible to large families because they are many in one household. It means stay away from your neighbours for now, no visiting, have only one person do groceries etc and please leave your kids at home if you are going to the stores even if they start crying. PLEASE stay home. We all have families that we would like to see again at the end of all this, stop being selfish for a second. Each individual is responsible. At least during this time, stop feeding your addictions first because it’s not the time to rely on your neighbours, relatives, please minimize the stress you give to the ones who are always there for you.

    If you think, stopping and not going to work and still getting paid is good, think, it will have a huge impact, the help may come maybe too late. I’m sure the leaders are being pressured by the community, to get paid and not be at work. Only the non-essentials are suspended for now. Sewage, water, garbage, loaders are all essentials in the north.
    Help your healthcare workers by minimize the impact. It’s not the time to stop the water especially in the north, it may even be necessary to have 24/7 service to all houses right now. Please don’t stop the services, it’s the wrong thing to do.

  9. Posted by really???? on

    Ban passenger air travel????? I hope they don’t need essential workers to help from the outside.

    No Doctors
    No Nurses
    No RCMP

    And a Council with no common sense, good luck!!! Welcome back to the 1700s

  10. Posted by Shred that document up on

    This bylaw seems is probably invalid.. The bylaw should have been signed by the SAO and Mayor, not by the deputy mayor. Also, unless all council members were present at the time this bylaw was read, its invalid given that all 3 readings were done in one sitting. How are they going to enforce the gambling?? Bylaw dont have a legal means of entering one’s home. I think the hamlet council has never heard of the Canadian charter of rights.. And yes, GN has control of airports, not the Hamet.. good luck on that one!

    • Posted by Siiiggghhh on

      Yes, but as is typical in many of the rural communities, the understanding of Nunavut and Canadian law is ….challenged.

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