In The Legislative Assembly

May 6 , 2005

Union continues yummy breakfasts in Iqaluit

Buzz Hargrove, the president of the Canadian Auto Workers union, visited Nakasuk School last year. (FILE PHOTO)

Hunter Tootoo, the MLA for Iqaluit Centre, informed the legislature that the Iqaluit District Education Authority will be able to continue its breakfast program.

In February 2004, Buzz Hargrove, the president of the Canadian Auto Workers Union, Jim O'Neal, its vice-president and Carol Phillips, director of the Union's Social Justice Fund, were in Iqaluit and presented a $50,000 checque to the IDEA for its breakfast program.

"That contribution salvaged a very worthy program last year. It is unfortunate that there is a lack of government funding and resources for something that is so fundamentally necessary to the successful education of our children," Tootoo said.

Recently, Tootoo learned that the CAW's Social Justice Fund has decided to contribute towards the breakfast program once again, providing $25,000 a year for the next three years.

In Nunavut, First Air's luggage handlers are members of the Canadian Auto Workers' Union and contribute to the union's Social Justice Fund.

May 6 , 2005

Carver honoured

Levi Barnabas, High Arctic MLA spoke about Lootie Pijamini, the creator of the striking carving now standing in the middle of the legislative chamber floor.

"This carving that you see in front of you depicts a marine mammal and in Inuktitut we would call the mermaid Tuutalik. I don't know where Sedna came from, but in the Inuktitut language we call her Tuutalik," Barnabas said. "She is the mother of all marine life. As you can see, she is using marine mammals as her mode of transportation."

Pijamini was born in 1953 in Clyde River and has been carving for more than 10 years. Pijamini has had recognition of various types, Barnabas said, winning the Eastern Arctic Fine Arts Crafts competition in 1994 and a 1996 Great Northern Arts Festival award.

May 6 , 2005

Reconsider Ilisaqsivik, says Uqqumiut MLA

James Arreak, the MLA for Uqqumiut, is worried about the future of the Ilisaqsivik Society of Clyde River - and he's not going to stop lobbying the GN's health department for core funding, which will help keep the family resource centre open.

"There are many jobs and many families who will be affected if it closes," Arreak said outside the legislature.

In a letter addressed to Levinia Brown, Nunavut's health minister, on April 28, Arreak said his constituents are "confused by the mixed messages" from the GN.

"On the one hand, they hear that community based-services will be supported by the department's Care Closer to Home strategy. On the other hand, they hear that the government is unwilling to guarantee annual funding for basic administrative costs necessary to the survival of these same community-based organizations."

Arreak asked for a "straightforward explanation" of why the health department won't help Ilisaqsivik in the letter, which he tabled in the legislature.

Earlier last week, Arreak also tabled an editorial from the Apr. 15 edition of Nunatsiaq News that called for the GN to assist Ilisaqsivik.

May 6 , 2005

And what about Cape Christian?

James Arreak, the MLA for Uqqummiut, wants to know what's happening at the former weather station at Cape Christian, located near the community of Clyde River, and who will pay for the clean-up: the federal government or Nunavut.

Arreak said his constituents are worried about the impact that this contaminated site is having on wildlife and waterways in the area and "through the wildlife, the impact on the people."

The GN's environment minister Olayuk Akesuk promised action on the clean-up and told Arreak that another round of negotiations to discuss land ownership is scheduled for this month.

"I'm sure we'll have a better idea on the Cape Christian site then," he said.

Arreak also officially tabled photos of the site so no one forgets what Cape Christian looks like.

May 6 , 2005

More to receive high school diplomas through GED

Education minister Ed Picco said the General Education Development, or "GED" testing program is being renewed. This allows students to receive a Nunavut high school equivalency diploma without attending classes at a high school.

Picco said his department invested $20,000 into the GED preparation courses which were offered through Nunavut Arctic College earlier this year in Rankin Inlet and in Iqaluit.

"We have invested a further $63,000 in the GED prep courses, now underway in Baker Lake, Arviat and Whale Cove," Picco said.

The courses have 20 participants per session.

"We have the potential to accredit 220 Nunavummiut this year with their high school equivalency diploma," Picco said. "This is a significant achievement given that we had 130 high school graduates across all of Nunavut last year. "

The GED tests measure students' ability:

Picco said GED prep courses will be offered in Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk, Pangnirtung, Cape Dorset, Pond Inlet and Clyde River over the course of this fiscal year.

"With a high school diploma in hand, GED graduates are better positioned to contribute to their own well-being and the future of Nunavut," Picco said.

May 6 , 2005

GN pays out $377,076 for rehab in 2003-2004

In 2003-2004, 14 Nunavummiut were sent to the Nats'ejee K'eh Treatment substance abused treatment centre in Hay River, NWT for an average cost of $3,640 per client, not including travel.

Some 57 others were referred to other out-of-territory drug and/or alcohol rehabilitation programs, including Poundmakers Lodge, Isuarsivik Treatment Centre and the Mamisarvik Healing Program.

Of the 71 clients, 38 completed the programs. Of the 46 clients over 18 years old, 30 completed the programs.

The average cost per client was $5,310.93, including transportation, with the overall costs for sending them out of Nunavut for rehab reaching $377,076.

This information was tabled in the legislature by Levinia Brown, the health minister, in response to a question from Keith Peterson, the MLA for Cambridge Bay, during last month's sitting.

May 6 , 2005

New KIA president applauded

Kugluktuk MLA Joe Allen Evyagotailak congratulated former MLA Donald Havioyak on winning the presidency of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association.

"Mr. Havioyak and I have known each other for a very long time. I look forward to working with him for the benefit of the constituents," Evyagotailak said.

Evyagotailak also recognized "the years of good work" done by former KIA president Charlie Evalik.

"Mr. Evalik served three straight terms as President and in that time he negotiated benefit agreements with several different mining companies. His experience and leadership were appreciated," Evyagotailak said.