QIA candidate wants action on deficits

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

MICHAELA RODRIGUE

IQALUIT — A contender for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association’s presidency says he wants to reduce the organization’s deficit.

“I’m running because of the debits they have. I would like to shrink it,” said Johnny Kopak, a QIA presidential candidate from Igloolik.

“The deficit, it’s quite big you know.”

Kopak said he would try to pay off the deficit through returns on investments.

“I would look at all the options and try to do the best thing.”

QIA’s audited financial statements for 1998-99, revealed a deficit of $429,398 for its general fund and economic development fund.

The news left Kopak concerned about the organization.

“I thought, we’re in big trouble, we have a big problem to solve,” Kopak said of his reaction to reports of the deficit.

Documents attached to QIA’s audited statements said last year’s deficit are due to a change in accounting practices.

Had the accounts been reported in the same way as last year, QIA would have posted a $526,000 surplus, the document states.

Kopak said he wasn’t aware of any surplus, but he wants to ensure QIA doesn’t enter into a deficit situation.

Kopak also wants to find money to help family members attend funerals. He said he’d find the money through the investments.But Kopak said he won’t make promises he can’t keep.

“I probably wouldn’t promise a lot because I wouldn’t want to break any of my promises,” Kopak said.

In fact, Kopak said he has nothing against the current leadership, but he said people should vote for him “for a change for the better.”

“I didn’t say I’m the right person for the job, I’d just like to see a few changes made,” Kopak said.

Kopak has lived in Chesterfield Inlet, Repulse Bay, Hall Beach and Igloolik. In the past he has worked at DEW line sites, hauled gravel, and driven water trucks. He is currently unemployed.

Fellow candidate Meeka Kilabuk was not available by Nunatsiaq News press time.

The QIA election is scheduled for Dec. 13.

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