Nunavut premier may undertake review of territory’s approach to immigration

Federal government plans to start bringing in 500,000 immigrants to Canada per year

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok said his team is looking into conducting a review of the territory’s approach to immigration. (File photo)

By Meral Jamal

Nunavut’s minister responsible for immigration said he is considering a review of the territory’s approach to immigration.

P.J. Akeeagok gave the update in response to questions Thursday from Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA Janet Brewster in the legislative assembly.

“I believe that the values of acceptance and diversity that we celebrate as an assembly apply equally to welcoming new Canadians and new Nunavummiut,” she said, asking Akeeagok to clarify what specific immigration initiatives his government is working on.

“Can the minister clarify what specific initiatives his department is working on in respect to the immigration portfolio?”

Akeeagok said the federal government wants to start bringing in 500,000 immigrants per year, and has reached out to see how many Nunavut could potentially take.

“We will want to carefully review that,” Akeeagok said.

“We have no plans specific to how many will settle here in Nunavut, and whether we can accommodate them or even house them here.” 

Akeeagok said lack of housing is a major barrier to bringing in new people, even with the potential that immigrants could bring skills that would fill gaps in sectors such as health care. A look at housing will form a part of the government’s review.

“We do want to welcome new workers to Nunavut, but our immense housing shortage is the biggest obstacle we face today,” Akeeagok said.

“It will also affect any new plans we may draft up to relieve these issues, as any new immigrants would face these same barriers.”

Akeeagok was not entirely clear about when he hopes to complete the review of how Nunavut could contribute to the federal government’s immigration initiative, but he did say the territory is welcoming to newcomers.

“As Inuit, we know we are always friendly to outsiders,” he said.

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(24) Comments:

  1. Posted by “As Inuit, we know we are always friendly to outsiders,” he said. on

    No more words needed…..

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    • Posted by sure on

      But we are… as long as you are my family or know my family, until we can blame you for something then “Go Home”.

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      • Posted by Thanks for the truth on

        So true! The nepotism and favoritism is infamous in the GN. Families hiring family members, friends and no accountability. Nunavut has turned into a joke with their So called affirmative hiring practices.

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  2. Posted by Putting this out there on

    Kinda funny one MLA is talking about looking into options to have people work from the south because we can’t get jobs filled in territory, and then we also get this. I think its funny.

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  3. Posted by Reality on

    Hmm, not even people from southern Canada are very welcome in Nunavut, they are labelled and isolated as outsiders and are looked down on for being non-inuit. I’m not sure people from other countries will be willing to be second-class citizens in an insanely cold environment.

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    • Posted by I Have Questions… on

      This image of being welcoming and tolerant – where did it come from? Is Akeeagok trolling for the fun of it or what is going on here?

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  4. Posted by pissed off on

    Since when has the GN jurisdiction over immgration or should we say arrival of newcomers already in Canada legally ?

    Thank you

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    • Posted by The Answer Is… on

      GN has no say over immigrants to Canada or Nunavut or where they choose to live or work. What provinces can do is encourage immigrants to their provinces by setting up their own programs to encourage immigrants to choose those provinces such as some of the provincial nominee programs. Territories and provinces have zero ability to controlling where immigrants choose to live outside of any provincial nominee plan.

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  5. Posted by Let’s go paul on

    Surprised he did not clearly answer? He has never really answered anything from media or mlas. Let’s go Paul

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  6. Posted by Confused on

    Build a thousand housing to each community first, it’s bad enough with shortage of housing as it is right now.

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    • Posted by 867 on

      There are housing shortages all across canada. Not sure what Justin’s plan is to house these new 500,000 immigrants a year. Same with his plan to build 3000 new units in nunavut by 2030. Sounds like he’s just trying to appease his voter base for another election.

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  7. Posted by The Merry Migrant on

    It would be absurd of the Feds to expect Nunavut to shoulder the burden of its grandiose immigration goals. They will be hard enough for the provinces to meet, except perhaps for Quebec, which has considerably more leverage on deciding who it takes than anyone else. We should not begrudge them this, however, but demand the same privileges.

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  8. Posted by Take a hint Trudope on

    Trudope should take a hint Nunavut needs housing before accepting qualified personnel, let alone immigrants. GN considering hiring southerners to work for GN in the south because there is no housing in Nunavut.

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  9. Posted by ripple effect? on

    Discussion, announcement regarding immigrants in Nuvavut (God forbid), days after a photo op with Trudeau, looks like the feds have our young inexperienced premier by the throat. Should not the Nu Gov first get a handle on housing shortage, infrastructure needs and high cost of living?

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  10. Posted by Truestory on

    “Nunavummiut first” should be a priority as we need houses, not immigrants to the already burden housing shortages. Fix the problem before another problem arises. Be smart.

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  11. Posted by Transient Nomads. on

    It’s hilarious when a once Nomadic culture throws around the world Transient as a slur.

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  12. Posted by Herbie on

    One in four Canadians now are immigrants, not born in Canada. They will have difficulty understanding the “citizens-plus” status that our indigenous peoples enjoy, given the hardships many of them endured before coming here.

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  13. Posted by Tungasugit on

    Tungasugit!
    .
    Here’s a snow knife to build your house with.
    .
    Here’s a diagram illustrating how to build a house of snow.
    .
    Here’s a map. It shows where your assigned housing site is located, and also where the soup kitchen is.
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    You have about 12 hours before the next blizzard.
    .
    Welcome to Nunavut.

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  14. Posted by Northern Guy on

    “As Inuit, we know we are always friendly to outsiders”, LOL tell that to the cabbies and other people of colour iwho are racially abused by Inuit on a daily basis. Friendly indeed!

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    • Posted by 867 on

      I have never heard the n-word used so freely as an insult towards people of color than here in nunavut. being a cabbie in iqaluit seriously has to be one of the most dangerous jobs out there!

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  15. Posted by Delbert on

    Nunavut is unable to provide housing for it’s native population. How could they house immagrants?

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  16. Posted by Frankly on

    It would be amusing and surprising to see all the new immigrants in Nunavut communities ! Make brand new friends and do everything else we inuit do with regular inuit in our ways. But one thing comes to mind – How will they be housed ? We don’t have enough snow due to global warming to build igloos for everyone anymore, and how are they going to eat as we are now so regulated to even go hunt for our food from the lands ? Premier isolation at its best only in Nunavut .

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  17. Posted by Southerner on

    Friendly,,,i have never experienced such racist behaviour. Kids calling you names rocks thrown at your house, windshield smashed,,,tellers laughting at you,,,corruption and lazy workers and when you correct it,,say dont come here and tell us what to do,,,or oh hi,,,are you the new janitor,,,,welcome to sanikiluaq

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