Southern teachers in Nunavik remain on standby to leave region: union

End now in sight to “a very distressing situation”

Kativik Ilisarniliriq’s head office in Kuujjuaq is seen here. Nunavik communities elected KI’s new council of commissioners Nov. 18. (File photo)

By Jane George

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.)

Nunavik’s director of public health is backpedalling on a decision that would have left about 150 teachers unable to fly out of the region during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The lockdown on scheduled flights in and out of Nunavik and between the region’s communities was made last night, shortly after the second case of COVID-19 was declared in Puvirnituq.

On March 31, Nunavik’s director of public health, Marie Rochette, had initially forbidden the Kativik Ilisarniliriniq school board to make travel arrangements for its employees who wished to go back home: “In accordance with the powers conferred on me by the Public Health Act, I hereby order the personnel of Kativik Ilisarniliriniq (KI) presently in the communities to remain there,” she wrote.

So the scheduled KI charters were cancelled.

But that decision changed on Friday, April 3, after some teachers and the union started to publicly criticize the situation.

“We were able to identify which teachers can leave—we received lists from the Kativik Ilisarniliriniq, and worked it out and decided on a number to stay to help our resources and others will be going,” Minnie Grey, the executive director of the Nunavik Regional Health and Social Services Board, said on Friday, April 3.

“We were considered to be holding the teachers as hostages but that’s not the case…. We’re not holding anybody hostage but it’s been clarified and more vulnerable people can leave.”

Larry Imbeault, president of the Association of Employees of Northern Quebec, who was told of the change by KI’s human resources department today, welcomed the news that the stranded teachers would be able to leave.

“When I received the news, I got chills. Almost tears in my eyes. Since yesterday I could not think about anything else. Last thing before falling asleep, first thing I thought about when I woke up, I was only thinking about them wanting to leave, but being unable to do so,” Imbeault said.

For many teachers in the North, Imbeault said it was “a very distressing situation … isolation from their dependents returned to the South, concerns about accessible medical care in the North and psychological distress as a result.”

Imbeault compared the situation of Nunavik’s non-local teachers to that of Canadians travellers who found themselves trapped overseas until the federal government arranged for aircraft to bring them home.

He also noted that, since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Premier François Legault has told Quebec residents to go back home as soon as possible and remain in isolation.

Teachers responded to the news, which had not yet been confirmed to me, with relief.

“I was really trying to be patient and just wait, but at some point, you just really start to feel quite isolated and just lose all your patience because it just seems like no one is taking the situation seriously,” said one of the Nunavik teachers who spoke to Nunatsiaq News, who asked not to be identified over fear of losing their jobs.

“When I learned that passenger flights were cancelled and I would be unable to leave, as I was promised, it took a large toll on my mental health. Myself and many teachers have been scared, anxious and experiencing panic attacks over our situation.”

The teachers feared they would be able to leave for weeks or months if the pandemic isolation continued.

And, if that was the case, some said as soon as they were allowed to leave Nunavik, they planned to break their teaching contracts and not return to the school board.

“Many of us love the region and love teaching here, but cannot accept this kind of treatment,” a teacher said.

Over the past month, teachers and their union received many mixed messages, Imbeault said. At one point, with no students to teach, teachers were told they had to “volunteer” to clean public buildings—an order since retracted.

Spring breaks for school are staggered in Nunavik, and some had decided to stay in Nunavik over spring break.

“When the schools closed on March 13, those of us in Nunavik were told we could leave, but we had to pay for it ourselves and we had to book a return flight to return to work by March 30, and that we might be made to do 14 days quarantine when we came back … so they were really discouraging us to leave,” said a teacher.

That round trip ticket would have cost about $4,000.

For those who stayed, that’s when the trouble with leaving started.

“We all didn’t realize at that point how serious it was going to be, so most of us who were in Nunavik stayed here,” the teacher said. “However, as time passed I started to realize how serious this was getting as we all saw that flights schedules were becoming less and less available, and that regional travel restrictions were being put in place. ”

One panicked teacher paid for their own round ticket, but the teacher said they really couldn’t afford that.

“I wanted to go home because without a vehicle here or family to help me out, it’s not easy to do things like get drinking water or go to the grocery store as my community is very spread out. It’s also difficult to know what is going on, since I don’t understand Inuktitut and all the community news is on the FM radio,” the teacher said.

“Normally when we are working every day, we have our centre directors to help us and keep us in the loop, so without that daily community link and having to stay inside and self-isolate, I started to feel a bit helpless.”

The teacher said that, like many non-local employees with other regional organizations who were able to leave, it was their intention to travel back home to be with their family.

“This is something I was assured many times I would be able to do,” the teacher said.

The school board had told Nunatsiaq News earlier in March “teachers and staff who have renewed their contract with the school board for next year will have the option to stay in Nunavik until the travel ban is lifted.”

But then it looked like all of them were stuck there. At the same time, the goodwill for renewing their teaching contracts faded.

“I do not see how I could continue to put myself in a position where I would be away from my family if there is a possibility that I will be lied to, tricked and trapped like this. It is also building resentment among teachers,” a teacher said before receiving news of the change in policy. “There is a lot of talk about being less inclined to work here as teachers in the future as a result of treatment of us.”

(with files from Elaine Anselmi)

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(58) Comments:

  1. Posted by Peter Pan on

    Great news for the stranded teachers! It is difficult to fathom whatever motivated to the Director of Public Health to trap them away from their homes and families, besides mindless cruelty. Unbelievable!

    • Posted by INUK on


    • Posted by Stranded family members on

      It isn’t just happening with the teachers. Some Inuit are stuck in Montreal that left for medical. They’re stating that they’re stuck there for at least until September. Mothers, fathers, who have left their children. No one is special. There are travel restrictions placed for the safety of the people.

      • Posted by Peter Pan on

        Let’s look at the timeline, this decision was made on March 31st. There was no complete travel ban in place at that time that I can see, that came on April 3rd. Correct my dates if they are off. So, if this is the case then arguing that ” there are travel restrictions placed for the safety of the people” is not really on point. There was no reason on the 31st to decide that these teachers couldn’t be flown home, there was and is no threat in doing so to the communities in Nunavik. Your logic seems to be; Inuit in Montreal are stuck, therefore southerners in Nunavik should suffer the same way. I don’t know their situation so I can’t comment; unfortunately, this inability to apply nuance doesn’t come as a burden to everyone.

        • Posted by Stranded family on

          And your logic is that if there is no travel ban that there is no risk? Be real. I posted on the 3rd of April. Also, you posted on April 3. Logically, the travel ban should have happened a lot sooner. We knew it was spreading but did nothing to stop it from reaching here.

          • Posted by Peter Pan on

            “And your logic is that if there is no travel ban that there is no risk”? Why do I have to suffer these kinds of ridiculous, sloppy statements? How annoying and absurd.
            Tell me where you see the risk in southern teachers leaving the territory? Please. You can prevent interactions between the pilot and cabin crew by keeping them on board at the airport during the process with no mixing at all.
            It’s better for Nunavik to not have to worry about caring for them and using resources on them. Let them go. They should have been let go immediately.

            • Posted by Don’t be a hypocrite on

              Sloppy statements? Absurd? You’re the one who put out the first assumption. They could have gone by paying their tickets if they had wanted to go so bad! They didn’t. Now, it’s too little, too late. They complain? Too bad! Now there are stuck here. Your “Don’t treat KI staff like dogs” attitude is funny because, you claim we have to isolate our air Inuit staff for the benefit of the teachers? Lol yeah.. nah. It’s non essential travel. No one is special. Not the Inuit, not the KI staff. Not you or me. As for the essentials needed to provide for them up here, Its not like coop and northern weren’t prepared for them.. lol smh, the arrogance and lack of common sense is coming off you in every passing statement. They got a house and essentials here and they’re better off staying put. Risk of even spreading it further in the city or where ever they may be dwelling is real. This isn’t just for the benefit of nunavik. Wake up! Stop being so ignorant.

  2. Posted by Poor Teacher on

    Yes, poor teachers…. poor KI… leaving the north until September… nothing did for the kids or to helps the parents to teach them at home….
    Leaving as fast as possible, and KI closing all the school faster than they can make good curriculum for the kids….
    So now you have plenty of time to work a good curriculum for the kids and finally teach them something useful like reading ….

    • Posted by Francios on

      What an ugly attitude you have.

      • Posted by He isn’t wrong! on

        No offence but it’s true. KI cut school off with zero plans in place. Left working parents to teach their children. Mind you, Inuit are stuck in Montreal, too. No one deserves special treatment in this pandemic. Not you, not I, no one. For the safety of the public. My aunt and her two kids are stuck there and my uncle jokingly said “I might have to find a new wife.”

      • Posted by Poor ki on

        0 student capable to graduate this year in Kuujjuaq … yes I have a bad attitude…. just telling the trust about KI …. and teacher are not the only one far away from their family…. but we stay to help Numavimiut!

        • Posted by Total non sense on

          You do have an ugly attitude, I agree. These posts really show a deep resentment and jealousy toward southerners, as if they regard themselves as special or some other non-sense. It’s honestly depressing to read some of this.

          • Posted by Total non sense? on

            Woah.. jealousy and resentment towards southerners? How do you know a southerner didn’t post it? Don’t be a hypocrite.

          • Posted by Total non sense? on

            Reason I say that is because he isn’t using his plurals much. Seems to be a french guy. Even southerners should feel concerned if they have children here and they should be allowed to voice their opinions.

  3. Posted by Nunavik employee and resident on

    It is not a measure that targets teachers but all residents of Nunavik, beneficiaries, non-beneficiaries, residents or non residents, including everyone who is separated from their family: all the same because of the extreme measures due to extreme situation. We cannot be too careful considering how vulnerable the region is face to this virus. Passengers travel put at risks all essential workers at a time of crisis, including the region capacity to receive cargo.
    Second, their contract was supposed to end in May, why can’t they wait a month to see how things go.
    I understand the reluctancy to end up doing work outside of the regular tasks in your contract but we are all in the same boat. Let’s start acting like it.
    At least untill the end of your contract, it is a month away : come on!

    • Posted by Not even on

      This will not be under control by May, not even close. It will take months…

      • Posted by Sticking it out… on

        I agree with “Not Even”… Many nunaviummiut have been given the opportunity to repatriate to their home communities, but the southern teachers haven’t been permitted to do so after Marie Rochette informed the Director of KI that travel wasn’t permitted. I appreciate the members of the board’s administration, who were human enough to act in the best interest of employees and the kids/communities looking longer term. Retention and recruitment has HUGE impacts, when an employee is treated with such disregard during such a highly stressful and unprecedented situation such as this, it doesn’t bode well. But I am very proud in leadership both locally and regionally for a charter to repatriate the teachers to their homes. This was the right move and one that showed respect and kindness in a difficult time.

        FYI, not all southern teachers decided to leave, many of us have chosen to stay for a variety of personal reasons, no one should be judged either way for their choice. For the individual who suggested that we spend the time making curriculum etc, first of all, I wish we had that right, but curriculum is a specific job by the dept of Education Services, they have the responsibility to develop curriculum and pass it through the Ministry of Education. We develop projects and activities to supplement curriculum, but in actual fact that might be easier to do down south with a more reliable connection to the internet. 🙂 Please be kind in the future, your tone is not very helpful. I urge you to run for Education Committee or Commissioner so you might be able to better understand how the board is organized and functions.

        • Posted by Repatriate? on

          Could we not use the word “repatriate”? Nunavik is in Quebec, Canada, despite how the people quoted in this article treat this region.

          • Posted by Thesaurus on

            I think that since Inuit identify more strongly with their home communities than with the region or province, repatriate seems clear enough, but if you prefer other terms… “opportunity for teachers to travel back to their home communities”, or in the earlier example “opportunity for Nunavimmiut to return home” over the last week… Same for teachers who come from all over the country.

            • Posted by A Common Mindset on

              Well, both Nunavut and Nunavik have been described as third-world regions pretending to be countries, so the choice of word, no matter how utterly incorrect, does accurately describe a common mindset.

              • Posted by Repatriate? on

                Yes, I agree completely And it is the mindset I wanted to expose.

      • Posted by Let’s just hope it is. on

        It is highly unlikely that it will be all and said and done with, in may. But, it is also crucial that no one travels. Or else they’ll be stuck here for much longer, if pilots or passengers continue to spread it.. enough with their bigot attitudes and demands of special treatment. There are families stuck in Montreal with no house, money, or anything. Do you see them getting special treatment? Man, teachers are covered to the end of the school year. Inuit that are stuck are not even covered. In a city that is being considered Quebec’s epicentre. Smh, enough of the selfishness. Just be glad you’re less at risk up here and you got food and a house and a pay check..

    • Posted by short term contracts on

      There are some people who are stuck who were here on shorter contracts, like voc ed teachers doing three week contracts or speciality teachers doing contracts that end early. They have rent to pay down south, pets and children they left in the south, thinking they would only be in Nunavik for a short time. If you were here on a short contract and you’re no longer getting paid, you can’t exactly afford to pay rent and bills now in two places. They don’t have supplies with them or a lot of clothing. There are actually a lot of teachers who want to stay and that is their choice, but others have responsibilities to take care of in the south and they should have that choice to go too.

  4. Posted by Janet on

    I think many people who work in the north would like the option to be able to go back “home” should, god forbid, Covid arrive in many more communities. Essential workers are staying put to serve the community. And hoping and praying that social distancing and “stay home and stay safe” keeps the virus away from the all communities, especially the vulnerable and the elderly in Nunavik and around the country.

  5. Posted by Tiniest Violin on

    Southerner living in the north here…. Theses specific teachers are not happy about ‘being held hostage’ but in reality the fact they have another place to go is a privilege. For the local people, it’s their home and they don’t have another place to go. I’m sorry some are dealing with increased anxiety, but the best thing you can do for your relatives in the south and your neighbours in the north is to stay where you are. People across the country people are being told to shelter in place, do your part.

    • Posted by The prime minister on

      Actually the prime minister said, “and if you are not at home, go home and stay home.”

      • Posted by Don’t take it to literal on

        What he meant by that was “if you have a place to self isolate and survive, self isolate and survive.

        • Posted by The prime minister on

          No, he was specifically addressing people who were away from home in other countries or provinces, etc. Read the news

  6. Posted by WTF?? on

    What kind of example is KSB and the teachers showing to the kids? What about resiliency? Why not portray community pride instead of running away. SHAME ON KSB. SHAME ON THE TEACHERS.

    • Posted by larimi on

      This message is the most ignorant and shortsighted thing i have seen on this site.

  7. Posted by In Province on

    Since they are in province, at least mostly… they might be able to go for groceries.
    Going for groceries is no longer an inherent right or privilege for all. It is privilege for some. So come out before a total lock down is enforced. Don’t forget not to socialize.

  8. Posted by Confused and regretful on

    In all of this, I feel the most regret for the community members. If you feel like you are held hostage, why are you living in this community to begin with? What about the beautiful Inuit and non-Inuit who cannot/will not leave? What about their health and well-being during this time? You are worried about access to healthcare, groceries, etc.? This is. Daily struggle for many. I am confused by this situation, but most I am just sad for everyone involved; the teacher(s) who feel they need to “get out now” and the community members who will and have suffered through many waves of pandemics over the course of their colonial history. Thoughts?

  9. Posted by resident on

    This same situation is playing out for a number of Nunavut teachers who would like to be with their families in the south. They are waiting for the GN to make a real decision about the school year, when other provinces and regions across Canada have called off the school year.
    There’s been a call for all passenger travel to be cancelled in the territory by the Nunavut Association of Municipalities.
    There should be no going to other communities to ‘visit’- but people should not be prevented from traveling south. They have children, partners, and elderly parents in the south. Psychological stress is very real for Nunavut teachers too (all GN employees faced huge amounts of stress in the fall trying to keep things going while the GN was struggling with the ransomware attack). Southern Nunavut teachers have also been scared, anxious and experiencing panic attacks over the situation & fearing not being able to leave for weeks or months as the Nunavik teacher’s have.

    Passenger screening for any symptoms is essential & should be happening. Such travellers should take precautions and must self-isolate for 14 days upon reaching their destination. Other GN employees who can work remotely should also be allowed to go south too.
    Nunavut has had great issues in having enough teachers for start of school the end of the summer, year after year. The same would be true at the end of this coming summer—and now even more so with there being a pandemic. Holding GN employees, teachers, other individuals who work or have businesses in the territory hostage by cutting flights, is not the way to go. A significant exodus of southern teachers & other GN employees should be expected. This is not how to retain people. Good luck GN in trying to fill all those positions.

    Telling Nunavik teachers that they should ‘volunteer’ to clean public buildings. (the implication being that they are still collecting a salary): what about all the people sitting at home who collect welfare –why aren’t they being told to volunteer and clean public buildings? There are teachers in Nunavut who are already volunteering, and I’m guessing some Nunavik educators were already doing so.
    For the record: Teacher’s in Nunavik complaining about having to purchase their own plane tickets to the south –in Nunavut, teachers pay for their own flights.
    For Northern Quebec Inuit stuck in Montreal: put pressure on your government to put people in quarantine in designated hotels where they are monitored for 14 days. If given the medical ‘all clear’, fly them back to their communities up north as the GN is doing. Nunavut has figured out how to handle this, surely Quebec/Nunavik can too.
    Tiniest Violin: “they have another place to go is a privilege”. You’re making big assumptions there. In the communities, there are huge extended families—if people need to self-isolate or be quarantined, they can call upon others to help by getting them groceries. etc. Many southerners living in the communities are alone—what happens if they need to be quarantined? Humm .. . . If people have somewhere else that can be– in the south, they should have the option to leave.

    • Posted by Tiniest Violin on

      Not assuming. . . I live alone as well. I think there’s something to be said about making community even with other southerners in order to look out for one another. This is the time to call a co-worker to pick up extra items for you or reach out to those who you know live alone and offer to grab items for them. Honestly, it’s a scary situation all around and if the teachers were willing to pay for their charter, and it was a direct flight south, I’m not sure why they had it cancelled on them.

  10. Posted by You’re all spoiled on

    Get people back home is what Trudeau did with Canadian abroad. Hope it works good for the heart of where
    People feel they should be. But the biggest benefit in this is that’s travelling committee members won’t be no more . Party around wasting money that could be spent on the development and health of people in Nunavik. Like the party is over, and it’s the greatest thing so far for Nunavik. Never you mind those teachers , yes that’s terrible, but think about those Inuit that will waste no more. Hey little kids, even those who are abused, life might and hopefully will get better, mom and dad stays home now where they belong.

  11. Posted by Inuit teachers stuck at home on

    Local teachers and southern teachers call in sick alike, but I noticed local teachers call in sick more after boozing and bingo nights. If only for our kids sake that local teachers were all stuck somewhere for the school year. That would help our kids so much. The number of days miss school is incredible. If southern teachers don’t come back to Nunavik , we’ll develop ignorance as a virus within a few short years.

    • Posted by Wait.. what? on

      We rely on southern teachers to not be ignorant? That if our kids were taught by Inuit and Inuit alone, they’d be ignorant? That’s what I’m getting from your statement.

      Wow, I don’t know how Nunatsiaq allowed this racist comment to even be posted.

      I’ve seen a lot of dumb posts, but this one has topped it. If you think we are ignorant people, why do you bother living here? Pretty ignorant, if you ask me.

      I believe KI is responsible for the teachers it has. If they continue to hire people who booze and play bingo, that’s on them! We have a lot of sober people(My son has a teacher that is sober. I don’t know if she gambles but she’s doing a hell of a job.). They should be hiring them instead. If they hire people who end up taking a charter, and god forbid a pilot or stewardess ends up transmitting the corona virus to our region, that’s also on them. Partially, anyway.

      Provided the extra security, the pay checks, the isolation, the housing, the cargo benefits, the internet and a fast connection to communicate with family, what more do they need to survive the pandemic? Not everyone has these essentials, mind you. We understand they want to go home but it isn’t worth the risk of infecting a small population that’s at a higher risk of an outbreak than any place in Canada.

      • Posted by Uneducated is ignorant on

        It’s not difficult to see that we need our Inuit teacher to be educated. Most are just picked out of the community and put in a class of hungry for knowledge kids, and the kids are not served. The southerner teachers are required to have a full teaching degree. How is this racist to point that out. It’s not difficult either to witness the absence of any teacher, it’s very easy to see that many local teachers are continuously absent from class after partying and bingo nights. We all pay our price for that, you have to be ignorant yourself to not see it. How is pointing out the facts considered racist? You tell me how our kids in Nunavik will fare in the future without an education, taught by people that are monitoring educated.

        • Posted by Wait, what? on

          As a graduate, I’ve been there. Like I said “It’s on them” to find people who are not boozers, who are not gamblers, and most importantly, who will be punctual. We don’t get the cream of the crop in nunavik. Since 2004, they’re rated and filtered out teachers for the south and we are left with the lowest of quality. Full teaching degree really doesn’t matter. Quality matters. So, stop praising them like they’re some mighty saviours because, I remember in secondary 3-4-5 the teachers were quitting and we had replacements after replacements at jaanimmarik. They might not have been boozing or gambling but they were not present for more than half the school year! Just culture shock can throw a whole school year off! Drinking or wtv does, too. Never claimed it didn’t. That’s on KI for their teachers not being trained or not being punctual, and I do have a right to resent them for it. They failed us. To be honest, KI needs to step up their game when hiring people. Both southern and northern employees of Quebec. Saying we don’t have a choice is the most ignorant thing posted right now. After all, we are paying pretty high wages for teachers. In fact, we pay the highest salaries in Quebec.

          • Posted by Yes wait what on

            Yes wait what, but al least follow the educational guidelines and have teachers at least that are qualified. Every professional got those poor quality workers. Many lawyers, doctors and nurses , social workers , police, could be in that poor quality too, but at least as we choose to hire them, we must still choose the qualified notwithstanding their deeper quality. We can only hope, in all else that we hire the best, which is not always humanly possibly , but to hire the uneducated, unqualified let’s us all down to begin with. That’s our story here in Nunavik, we exposed our kids direct to uneducated unqualified. What we call teachers, and it’s unacceptable.

        • Posted by Ps. on

          The statement above replies to all following comments down below, so don’t think I was putting words in your mouth..

      • Posted by I want your sons teacher on

        Where are your son going to school Wait Whay? I want to send my kid there too. You must be the relative or friend of your sons teacher. My god we are crippled in this system, more so with the lack of local teachers with a teachers qualification. There a few , one or two with degree, more with certifications, but so many with no responsibility. Where are you, I want one like yours and so does many of us in Nunavik . You see the denial is alive and well, in your comment. You can even pick out a resentment towards the southerners in it.

      • Posted by Ki has no choice on

        Ki has no choice but to hire the gamblers, the drug dealers, the bootleggers even, we all know a least one school bus driver, who is a bi big drug dealers, don’t tell me you don’t know. It’s the same all over, no choice to hire theses that would otherwise in a vibrant society, would not get hired. We are all in the same boat here in Nunavik, with such workers. There’s no one else to hire, unless, and we talk about that so much, unless we hire from the south. We don’t want to hire from the south, but what choice . People deserve better, I want a responsible doctor, nurse, police, teacher, don’t you ?

      • Posted by Sober as a judge on

        Not to break too far from the topic, but this sober word has become Nunavik’s own. To be sober, as not to be drunk, or not drink. You get young otherwise healthy persons with that word on their tongue as though it was vital and survival depends on following the meaning, life or death. Depends on if you are sober, or not. Surely in interviews for jobs around the country, are you sober comes up, not much, but here in Nunavik, are you sober, means will you go to work, or will you not.? My sons teacher is not sober, because I had a beer with him, at Christmas, but I’m confident my son got the best teacher in the world, or yeah, he pays the lotto once in a awhile too, never missed a day of work from it thou.

  12. Posted by Remote or not on

    Teachers should ask if the public health doctor is living in or out iof Nunavik or hidding in an apartment in the south. As many do. Giving us their 10 % devotion, all the while making us believe our life depends on them. I hope that group stays in the south forever and leave us alone.

    • Posted by In need of a dentist on

      Got two sons that need a dentist right now. One son is having his molar grow out the side. Another one is having toothaches and sensitivity on his K9. If only they were devoted. I, thrice, had to wait for a dentist appointment that already flew back home. ? always wanted to use that word.. “thrice” lmao

  13. Posted by Where is home? on

    I totally understand the desire to leave communities for some people. No access to hospitals for those in high risk categories, caring for elderly parents, etc. However, I would caution anyone wishing to come “home” to a southern province may face some challenges. Some provinces are saying they will not allow anyone from other provinces in unless deemed essential. So if you have a Nunavut drivers license you may run into some issues. Some provincial governments don’t want you to come “home” if it’s not your residency. So be sure you have confirmation you will be allowed in before you book that flight and keep in mind changes to these policies are happening daily.

  14. Posted by shame on

    Air Inuit has cut off passenger travel to/from Sanikiluaq, Nunavut (I’m not talking about people who want to go visiting to and from Nunavik communities. They have left people stranded. for 2 weeks The travel ban is for the 14 communities of Nunavik. There was no reason that a twin otter cannot come from La Grande and pick up people who need to get to the south, bring them to La Grande and have them transfer to a dash 8 that is going south to Montreal (or the opposite route). La Grande is not in Nunavik. That has been done when weather has been bad in Kuujjuarpik.

    • Posted by It’s a provincial/ territorial thing. on

      Travel to another province or territory is causing the complications. Not air Inuit.

  15. Posted by Hope for you on

    For you, who doesn’t stay to help.
    I hope you will never get Covid. And if unfortunately you get it. I hope the medical staff will not tell you that they can’t take care of you because they are missing home.
    All the decisions are taken by people that are living here and will stay till the end of this war. Even public health doctors.

  16. Posted by Let’s talk numbers on

    Up until grade 3, they’re taught by Inuit. So from grade 3 to secondary 5, French and English, some towns have a grade 3a, grade 3b, etc.. let’s just say about 22 teachers and staff per community that are “non residential”.. 22×14(communities) is 308 KI staff rough estimate total. A jet has a passenger load of about 60 people.. that’s 5 jet charters. Some went home and a jet usually goes by load and y’all know they never fit the full 60 passenger limit anyway. You guys like to carry a lot of stuff, especially at the end of the school year.. so let’s say 7 charters.. 7 jet charters. Idk how many that is in dash 8s.. but it’s a lot.. and your personal belongings, essential and non essential, will probably end up in cargo stopping our essentials(medical documents and accessories, mail, sulukpaks from people trying to send their stranded family some money or even food because, some people have no money) from being shipped south. Idk if you know but air Inuit has only a handful of pilots. Even fewer that can fly a jet. even if they could all fly jets, this would leave us with most of the pilots in a 14 day screening down south further restricting us of essentials. Mind you, 14 days for 14 pilots and 14 stewardesses(minimum) in a hotel under quarantine would cost about 240$ a night, for 14 nights.. thats a total of 94,080$, minimum! Even more if they take the dash 8s considering they’d need more air Inuit staff. There is no money in it for the airline. There is no benefit for the people of nunavik. In fact, there is a risk of an outbreak. Even if it were to happen, it would shut us down or slow us down either by not allowing our essentials to travel south and north if someone within air Inuit were to cause an outbreak after coming from the south and our airline loses money on the chartered flights.. or if an outbreak would happen due to a pilot or pilots or stewardesses getting infected, that would slow down our essentials from even coming up from the south because, once again.. not everyone can fly a jet. And if you’re thinking little dash8s bringing in cargo for 11,000 people.. there would be barely enough essentials for everybody to fit in such a small plane and no revenue made by airinuit with these trips alone. There are already shortages at the store. 300 people shouldn’t decide the fate of our region. Both at an economical standpoint or our welfare. Sorry but not Sorry.

    • Posted by Yes talk numbers on

      Yes, let’s talk numbers. Let’s talk about those large flocks of people from Nunavik , not spending anymore on the meetings and party’s, no more flying to kuujjuaq , salluit , pov, Montreal, gathering in a room to talk about nothing that benefits anyone. The cheque’s of expenses paid, the bars and restaurants not getting that money. Ok, we’ll used that otherwise wasted money for our good awesome devotion to teachers to get them home to their love ones, money now worth something. The party is over.

      • Posted by Let’s talk numbers.. on

        Or we could spend that money on something necessary. Like let’s say.. medical, essentials, etc.. the population that is pretty safe from corona.. you know 1+1=2

  17. Posted by Lucky! on

    At least teachers can get chartered out. Many people are stranded without this option.

    • Posted by Stranded at home on

      If more people in Nunavik took the initiative to get educated, we would not be having teachers from the south waiting to go home, we would have teachers already home.

      • Posted by Hahaha on

        If people of nunavik took more initiative to get educated, you’d not get charters to go home. You’d have to pay for your own ticket for the two week March break like any other teacher that teaches away from home. Pandemic hits and now all non essential flights and travel are not being accepted ALL OVER QUEBEC! You know, some teachers actually left? They got home because, they paid for their tickets. If you have a place to survive the pandemic, your essentials are here and thus, travelling is non essential.

        • Posted by For hahaha on

          Hahaha. What’s mean is that if there were more education of Inuit teachers, then everyone would be already home, there would be no southern teachers , very few.

  18. Posted by Sovereign citizen on

    Send them south where they have freshly installed Five g and see if they will catch this on Nunatsiaq news

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