No relief in sight for busy lands officers
The lands officer in Resolute Bay has a full-time job to do, but is only working half-time, said Susan Salluviniq, Resolute’s mayor, at this year’s Baffin Mayors Forum in Iqaluit
The problem, said Tom Rich, deputy minister for the department of community and government services, is a lack of money.
Lands officers’ salaries are paid by the federal government, as Ottawa promised in the Nunavut land claims agreement. But that funding lapsed two years ago when the implementation agreement — currently in dispute — ran out.
The first time the money ran out, the Government of Nunavut stepped in to pay salaries. This year, the federal government has put up $1.2 million for lands officers in an agreement that is only good for one year.
That means that some communities have to make do with a part-time lands officer until the implementation contract is agreed upon.
“We’re trying to get more,” Rich said.