Nunavut Planning Commission turns new leaf

“The approval of this plan marks a turning point for the commission”


The Nunavut Planning Commisson has come up with a 10-year plan to get back on course, following the near-collapse of the organization last year.

The NPC’s new strategic plan, approved at a meeting held in Baker Lake during the week of July 3, includes provisions to strengthen the commission’s governance, provide detailed budgeting for the next decade and improvements to the organization’s financial controls.

“The approval of this plan marks a turning point for the commission,” said interim chair Ron Roach, in a press release.

The announcement comes after an embarrassing and chaotic period last year, sparked by a bitter dispute between board members and the NPC’s longstanding chair, Bob Lyall, and longstanding executive director, Luke Coady.

Lyall and Coady have since departed the organization, following the release of two reports: a management review by the Aarluk consulting firm, and a special audit report by the Mackay accounting firm.

The Aarluk and Mackay reports were done after a group of five commissioners rebelled in May 2005 against the commission’s bosses, making numerous allegations related to their inability to see financial information, including annual auditors’ letters and information about salary increases.

Since then, Ron Roach has taken on the job of interim chair, and Sharon Ehaloak of Cambridge Bay is now the NPC’s new executive director.

Improved financial controls could prevent the organization from overspending, as happened during the fiscal year of 2004, when the NPC managed to run up a deficit of $140,000.

The commission, formed in 1993, is an “institution of public government” created by the terms of the land claims agreement.

Its main role is to draw up land use plans for the territory, but most Nunavut regions do not yet have final land use plans.

The NPC’s new strategic plan sets a deadline to complete a Nunavut-wide land-use plan over the next decade, rather than do regional land-use plans one at a time.

Although a completed land use plan exists for the Kivalliq region, it now needs to be updated in light of Nunavut’s recent explosion of prospecting activity there, including prospecting for uranium.

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The commission plans to present its strategic plan to the DIAND minister and to the Nunavut Implementation Panel.

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