Okalik firm on PPD move to Baker Lake
Premier Paul Okalik said he believes moving the petroleum products division of the department of public works to Baker Lake from Rankin Inlet is in the best interest of Nunavummiut.
Okalik made the comments during an interview this week.
Manitok Thompson, the MLA for Rankin Inlet South-Whale Cove, made a commitment last week to stand by her constituents, who fear they might have to choose between quitting their jobs and moving to a different community.
The move is related to the creation of a new energy portfolio, and a proposed scheme for combining the Nunavut Power Corporation, which is based in Baker Lake, and Rankin’s PPD office, which will be rolled into a new Crown corporation called Qulliq Fuel.
In opposing a possible decentralization plan, Thompson is effectively defying cabinet. However, Okalik said he understood her position, though it would not change his own.
“We’re working it out in cabinet,” Okalik said. “That is her goal. My goal is to decentralize.”
He clarified that decentralization in this context means moving PPD to Baker Lake. “In looking at our options, that is the principle: providing efficiencies wherever possible.”