Okalik unveils proposed new BIP this week



RANKIN INLET — A “consultation draft” of a new, Nunavutized version of the GNWT’s business incentive policy was tabled in the Legislative Assembly by Premier Paul Okalik this week.

The product of a joint working group made up of representatives from Nunavut Tunngavik and the Nunavut government, the draft policy, entitled “Nunavummi Nagminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti Policy,” has the stated objectives of:

* strengthening Nunavut’s business sector;
* securing goods and services for the government at the best value;
* bringing about a level of Inuit participation in government contracts that reflects the territory’s population; and
* “to increase the number of trained and skilled Nunavut residents in all parts of the work force and business community to levels that reflect the Inuit proportion of the Nunavut population.”

“The Nangminiqaqtunik Ikajuuti Policy is a step forward in meeting the objectives and principles within the Nunavut land claim agreement and the Bathurst Mandate of our government,” said Okalik when he tabled the policy.

He said the driving force behind the policy is Article 24 of the Nunavut land claim agreement.

The draft policy envisions a system of bid adjustments, bonuses and penalties based upon the racial composition of ownership of companies bidding on contracts, as well as the location of bidding companies and their employees, and the racial composition of the work force and managerial staff who the companies employ.

It also sets out that bids must meet the minimum requirements specified in government requests for proposals.

Under the draft policy, “Nunavut firms” would get a 14 per cent bonus, while “Inuit firms” would get an additional bid adjustment of 3 per cent.

“Local status” would net a bidder an additional 3 per cent adjustment.

“It is imperative that local business has the opportunity to share in the material success of the creation of Nunavut,” said Okalik

The policy also sets out a minimum Inuit employment level of 10 per cent and a minimum Inuit ownership level of 5 per cent.

The policy states bonuses and or penalties “may apply with respect to Inuit participation in employment, project management and training.”

Okalik said the policy is a vehicle toward encouraging self reliance and building healthy communities.

“This policy ensures that the residents of Nunavut share in and benefit from every public dollar spent on this territory,” Okalik said.

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