Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic July 30, 2015 - 2:31 pm

Inuit org boss heaps praise on Valcourt’s NNC re-announcement

NTI wants in on the NNC decision-making process

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Chuck Strahl, then the AAND minister, and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq announcing the Nutrition North Canada program at an May 2010 news conference in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)
Chuck Strahl, then the AAND minister, and Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq announcing the Nutrition North Canada program at an May 2010 news conference in Iqaluit. (FILE PHOTO)

Cathy Towtongie, the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., said July 30 that she welcomes a move re-announced by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt on July 27 that would list Nutrition North Canada savings on sales receipts next year.

“Minister Valcourt’s decision is a step in the right direction. This change will allow Inuit to see exactly how this government subsidy is being used to reduce the extremely high cost of food in our communities,” Towtongie said in a news release.

This past July 27, Valcourt re-announced a widely-anticipated change to NNC that his department’s officials had already confirmed months ago.

As of April 1 next year, food retailers that use the Nutrition North air freight subsidy must print the amount of NNC subsidy on customer sales receipts.

That’s in reaction to an embarrassing report on NNC that the Auditor General of Canada, Michael Ferguson, released Nov. 25, 2014.

In it, Ferguson found the federal government does not verify that retailers pass the full value of the NNC subsidy on to customers.

This past March, the NNC Advisory Board chimed in and recommended that subsidy amounts be printed on customer sales receipts.

And at a public meeting of the advisory board in Iqaluit, Stephen Van Dine, an assistant deputy minister at AAND, confirmed the department had already agreed to imposing that measure on retailers.

In the NTI news release, Towtongie said “Inuit” want more changes to give them direct involvement in the NNC program’s decision-making process.

That includes giving NTI a direct say on any decisions related to any redesign of the program.

“NTI plans to continue to exert strong pressure on the current government, as well as the next government,” Towtongie said.

 

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