Nunavut MLAs reconvene in Iqaluit


Nunavut MLAs reconvened the fifth session of the Nunavut legislative assembly in Iqaluit Feb. 20.

The assembly will sit until no later than March 7.

MLAs are expected to give first reading to a long-awaited bill that would amend the Education Act inherited from the Northwest Territories. Those changes would include new words strengthening the status of Inuktitut within the school system.

The assembly will also decide whether to give third reading to two pieces of municipal legislation: Bill 16, which contains amendments to the Cities, Towns and Villages Act; and Bill 17, which contains amendments to the Hamlets Act.

Both bills are intended to give more power and autonomy to community governments, clarify the duties of mayors and councils, reduce the requirement for ministerial approval of municipal decisions, create a mechanism for removing ineligible council members, and provide municipalities with more bylaw-making and enforcement powers.

MLAs have also been studying the idea of an enriched pension plan for themselves since the middle of last year, but it’s unclear if a bill to amend the Legislative Assembly Retiring Allowances Act will be tabled this time around.

Finance Minister Kelvin Ng isn’t expected to table the government’s main estimates for 2002-3 until the assembly’s spring session in April.

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