Ottawa to deliver Nunavut funding deals


Nunatsiaq News

IQALUIT Indian Affairs and Northern Development Minister Jane Stewart was expected to punctuate her visit to Nunavut this week by handing over $44 million in federal funding for training and infrastructure development.

Under an agreement with the territorial Department of Municipal and Community Affairs, to be formally announced on Friday, DIAND will commit $32 million over the next three years to infrastructure projects in 11 Nunavut municipalities.

The money will be used to upgrade schools and build new housing and government office buildings in Iqaluit, Cambridge Bay, Gjoa Haven, Pond Inlet, Pangnirtung, Arviat, Igloolik, Cape Dorset, Baker Lake and Kugluktuk.

Stewart is also expected to sign a one-year funding agreement with the Department of Education for specific Inuit job-training programs, worth $11.9 million. School boards and Nunavut Arctic College will be responsible for carrying out the training.

Details of the training agreement were not known at press-time, but a spokesperson for DIAND’s Nunavut Secretariat said money has been earmarked for training in such areas as career counselling, health board management, youth summer employment programming and communications.

NWT Municipal Affairs Minister Manitok Thompson and Education Minister Charles Dent, as well as Nunavut MP Nancy Karetak-Lindell, were expected to take part in the signing of the agreements.

The minister arrived in Iqaluit on Thursday for meetings with Inuit leaders and Nunavut’s interim commissioner, Jack Anawak, whose progress setting up the first Nunavut government she was to review.

Contractors hurried to complete renovations at Iqaluit’s Blue Igloo building on Wednesday, home of the interim commissioner’s office.

During her brief stay in Iqaluit, the minister is also scheduled to meet briefly with QIA president Lazarus Arreak and Ben Kovic, chairman of the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board.

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