Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut January 02, 2012 - 11:41 am

Nunavut: a timeline for the year that was

A look back at 2011 in Nunavut

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Jose Kusugak, the revered Nunavut Inuit leader, died in early January of 2011. (FILE PHOTO)
Jose Kusugak, the revered Nunavut Inuit leader, died in early January of 2011. (FILE PHOTO)
Michael McMullen, the executive vice president of the North West Co., poses inside Iqaluit's Northmart store this past April 1, the day the Nutrition North Canada program started up. (FILE PHOTO)
Michael McMullen, the executive vice president of the North West Co., poses inside Iqaluit's Northmart store this past April 1, the day the Nutrition North Canada program started up. (FILE PHOTO)
The four candidates for Nunavut in last year's federal election, held May 2: Scott MacCallum of the Green Party; Leona Aglukkaq of the Conservative Party of Canada; Jack Hickes of the New Democratic Party; and Paul Okalik of the Liberal Party of Canada. (FILE PHOTO)
The four candidates for Nunavut in last year's federal election, held May 2: Scott MacCallum of the Green Party; Leona Aglukkaq of the Conservative Party of Canada; Jack Hickes of the New Democratic Party; and Paul Okalik of the Liberal Party of Canada. (FILE PHOTO)
Conservative candidate Leona Agglukaq, who won a convincing victory with 49 per cent of votes cast, celebrates with supporters in Iqaluit on election night May 2. (FILE PHOTO)
Conservative candidate Leona Agglukaq, who won a convincing victory with 49 per cent of votes cast, celebrates with supporters in Iqaluit on election night May 2. (FILE PHOTO)
Two-year-old Aliyah Degrasse, left and her sister Alexandra Degrasse, 7 were shot dead by their father, Sylvain Degrasse, on June 7. (FACEBOOK PHOTO REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION OF MICAH ARREAK)
Two-year-old Aliyah Degrasse, left and her sister Alexandra Degrasse, 7 were shot dead by their father, Sylvain Degrasse, on June 7. (FACEBOOK PHOTO REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION OF MICAH ARREAK)
Vivian Sula Enuaraq, 29, the mother of Alexandra and Aliyah Degrasse, was also shot dead June 7 by Sylvain Degrasse, who later that day killed himself in the Iqaluit cemetery. (FACEBOOK PHOTO REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION OF MICAH ARREAK)
Vivian Sula Enuaraq, 29, the mother of Alexandra and Aliyah Degrasse, was also shot dead June 7 by Sylvain Degrasse, who later that day killed himself in the Iqaluit cemetery. (FACEBOOK PHOTO REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION OF MICAH ARREAK)
An audience made up mostly of government officials and visiting mayors filled the Iqaluit cadet hall this past March for a forum on uranium mining sponsored by the Government of Nunavut. The GN has yet to unveil the policy on uranium mining that they promised last year. (FILE PHOTO)
An audience made up mostly of government officials and visiting mayors filled the Iqaluit cadet hall this past March for a forum on uranium mining sponsored by the Government of Nunavut. The GN has yet to unveil the policy on uranium mining that they promised last year. (FILE PHOTO)
The wreckage of First Air flight 6560 on the hillside near Resolute Bay, where the Boeing 727-200 series jet crashed and burned, killing 12 people, including all four crew members. Three people survived. (FILE PHOTO)
The wreckage of First Air flight 6560 on the hillside near Resolute Bay, where the Boeing 727-200 series jet crashed and burned, killing 12 people, including all four crew members. Three people survived. (FILE PHOTO)
South Baffin MLA Fred Schell was voted into cabinet this past September, but just a few weeks later, MLAs fined and censured him for an ethics violation dating back to 2009. (FILE PHOTO)
South Baffin MLA Fred Schell was voted into cabinet this past September, but just a few weeks later, MLAs fined and censured him for an ethics violation dating back to 2009. (FILE PHOTO)
No Ouija please, we're from Rankin. The Northern store pulled the popular board game from its shelves this past November after a customer complained that the Ouija parlour game leads to youth suicide. (FILE PHOTO)
No Ouija please, we're from Rankin. The Northern store pulled the popular board game from its shelves this past November after a customer complained that the Ouija parlour game leads to youth suicide. (FILE PHOTO)

Most Nunavut residents will remember 2011 as a year of devastating loss.

No one alive in Nunavut this past year will ever forget the triple murder and suicide in Iqaluit, when Sylvain Degrasse, 44, lay down upon his sister’s grave and shot himself in the head after annihilating his common-law partner and two young children.

Nor will anyone ever forget the crash of First Air flight 6560 this past August near Resolute Bay, which snuffed out 12 lives but also saw the miraculous survival of seven-year-old Gabrielle Pelky, 23-year-old Nicole Williamson, and 48-year-old Robin Wyllie.

In addition to all that, the year was scarred by far too many homicides, suicides and unexplained sudden deaths. Let’s hope 2012 turns out better.


January

• In early January, south Baffin swelters under a record-breaking winter heat wave that sees daily temperature highs rise as much as 20 degrees Celsius above seasonal normals.

• Belgian police arrest Father Eric Dejaeger. Dejaeger, 63, is later expelled from Belgium and returned to Canada, where he now faces more than 30 charges related to the sexual molestation of Inuit children in Igloolik dating to the late 1970s and early 1980s.

• Nunavut’s aging power stations are dying of old age, Peter Mackey, the boss of the Qulliq Energy Corp., says during a public hearing on a QEC rate increase application.

• Using an $800,000 grant from the federal government, the Government of Nunavut takes its fight against tuberculosis to the streets and doorsteps of Iqaluit with the Taima TB campaign.

• The Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission starts work on a new electoral map for the legislative assembly. At the commission’s first scheduled public hearing, Jan. 11 in Iqaluit, no one bothers to show up.

• The beloved Inuit leader, Jose Kusugak, dies Jan. 19 at his home in Rankin Inlet.

• The governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut agree to pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit launched by 62 people who alleged they were sexually abused by ex-teacher Ed Horne in the 1970s and early 1980s. Nunavut is responsible for paying 44.34 per cent of that amount.

• Veteran civil servant Alex Campbell departs the GN, where he served as deputy minister of health and social services.

• The City of Iqaluit fires its long-serving director of lands and planning, Michèle Bertol on Jan. 26. This past October, Bertol filed a lawsuit against the city seeking more than $700,000 in damages for what she alleges was a wrongful dismissal.

• In a report prepared for the Nunavut Economic Forum, economist Graeme Clinton, in the 2010 Nunavut Economic Outlook, says the global recession in 2008 gave Nunavut a second chance to prepare for mining-related growth.

• The constant construction of more social housing units will not fix Nunavut’s perpetual housing crisis, the Nunavut Economic Outlook warns.

• ArcelorMittal and Nunavut Iron Ore complete a protracted takeover of the Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. the owner of the massive Mary River iron project in north Baffin.


February

• The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami holds a $198-a-plate fundraiser, Taste of the Arctic, to raise money from Ottawa socialites. This year’s funds go to Nunavik’s Avataq Cultural Institute.

• The Inuit Uqausinginnik Taiguusiliuqtiit language authority holds a week-long symposium in Iqaluit to begin discussions on language standardization and the future of the Inuit language in Nunavut.

• Leona Aglukkaq, the national health minister announced $2.4 million for the Iqaluit-based Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre to help pay for Inuit health research.

• A new $22-million airport opens in Arctic Bay, replacing an old airport at Nanisivik that closed with the shutdown of the Nanisivik mine.

• Nunavut Resources Corp., the first Inuit-owned mining development company, signs a “mutual cooperation agreement” with Shear Diamonds Ltd., the new owner of the mothballed Jericho Mine.

• Arctic Bay residents complain about big price increases, following the removal of air freight subsidies for some grocery items under the Nutrition North Canada program. Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq shifts into damage control mode, and launches a quickie tour of some communities.

•  NTI president Cathy Towtongie said her organization will review its uranium mining policy, which endorses uranium mining in Nunavut subject to certain conditions. By year’s end, the controversy fades away and NTI retains its 2007 uranium policy.

• The Inuit Circumpolar Conference wraps up a two-day summit in Ottawa, saying they support oil and gas development in the Arctic as long as Inuit benefit and the environment is protected.

• The Nunavut cabinet, speaking through Commissioner Edna Elias in a throne speech, promises a more streamlined government and better policies on poverty, youth, housing and infrastructure.

• Through a $6.4 million program called NunaFam, up to eight young medical students from Memorial University in Newfoundland will be able to practice medicine throughout the Baffin region, in a scheme aimed at alleviating the territory’s perennial doctor shortage.


March

• Finance Minister Keith Peterson announces that Nunavut will post a $50 million deficit during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

• The people of Sanikiluaq survive a “flu-like outbreak” that leaves more than 100 residents sick. Though the nature of the illness was never made public, Health Minister Tagak Curley later confirms some residents suffered from RSV infections.
• Jimmy Nowdlak, 27, of Iqaluit, is charged with first degree murder in connection with the August 2010 death of a 57-year-old Pond Inlet woman who was beaten and sexually assaulted in September 2008 while she was on a medical trip to Iqaluit.

• The Government of Nunavut sends medical workers into Igloolik, after a second baby in the community dies of a “flu-like” illness. In February, a nine-month old baby died in an incident that raised questions about the quality of health care in the community. Lung expert Dr. Anna Banerjee calls for a public inquiry.

• Owners of private pharmacies in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet and Iqaluit slam a GN scheme that would see a telepharmacy system set up in which prescriptions would be handled remotely by a pharmacist in Ottawa.

• The GN’s education department gets an $18-million increase to its annual budget, which balloons to more than $225 million in 2011-12. The GN will use the money to hire more teachers and to raise food and clothing allowances for social assistance recipients.

• The GN holds public hearings in Iqaluit, Baker Lake and Cambridge Bay as part of an effort aimed at the creation of a policy on uranium mining. By year’s end, the GN has yet to announce such a policy.

• In a report, the Auditor General of Canada finds gaping holes in Nunavut’s child protection system.

• Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq announces a major reboot of the Nutrition North Canada program that extends freight subsidies on a long list of items until October 2012.

• A fire at Agnico-Eagle’s Meadowbank gold mine destroys a kitchen, food storage areas and offices. About 300 workers are evacuated from the site.

• MLAs vote March 10 to suspend the 57-year-old Pangnirtung MLA, Adamie Komoartuk, from the Nunavut legislature after Komoartuk and his 53-year-old wife are charged with assaulting each other. Komoartuk resigns his seat March 15. The charge against him is eventually stayed by the Crown.

• The Truth and Reconciliation Commission launches its northern tour March 14 in Kuujjuaq.

• Bobby Suwarak, 41, of Baker Lake, is sentenced to two years less a day for indecently interfering in 2010 with the body of a deceased woman buried at Baker Lake’s cemetery.

• Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty tables a budget mostly devoid of major items for the North.

• Statistics Canada reports that average annual temperatures in the Canadian Arctic have risen by 2 degrees Celsius over the past 60 years.

• Charlie Evalik is re-elected president of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association March 28, taking 56 per cent of votes cast.

• Nunavut moves into election mode with the fall of the Harper government in a non-confidence vote March 26. Incumbent MP Leona Aglukkaq defended her seat against Liberal Paul Okalik, New Democrat Jack Hickes and Green Party candidate Scott MacCallum in an election called for May 2.


April

• After winning major air freight contracts under Nutrition North Canada, the Canadian North airline announces 25 additional scheduled flights per week to and from communities in the Kitikmeot and Qikiqtani regions.

• Electrical power rates rise by 18.9 per cent across Nunavut on April 1, following a Nunavut government decision issued after a rate increase application filed in the fall of 2010 by the Qulliq Energy Corp.

• Peter Harte, a prominent defence lawyer from Cambridge Bay, is suspended from his job by the Nunavut Legal Services Board for speaking out about the shortage of resident judges in Nunavut. Cambridge Bay residents circulate a petition to protest the decision.

• The GN puts proposed addictions treatment centres for Iqaluit and Cambridge Bay on hold for financial reasons.

• Father Tony Krotki, the Roman Catholic priest in Igloolik, flees the community after receiving death threats connected to recent child sexual abuse allegations levelled at Father Eric Dejaeger.

• The Taima TB program kicks off April 5 in Iqaluit.

• With help from a handout from CanNor, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Chamber of Mines opens an office in Iqaluit.

• Baffinland Iron Mines Corp., recently acquired by Arcelor Mittal, files a draft environmental impact statement for its massive Mary River iron mine proposal on north Baffin Island.

•  A six-person jury makes 29 recommendations following a coroner’s inquest into the August 2009 death of Elisapee Michael of Iqaluit, who died of a head injury after falling down the front steps of the Nova Inn.

• At a legislative hearing held to discuss Auditor General Sheila Fraser’s report on child and family services, MLAs focus more on perceived threats to Inuit culture than on child protection.

• Auditor General Sheila Fraser, whose reports shed light on numerous GN shortcomings, bids farewell to Nunavut with her last appearance before a legislative committee anywhere in Canada.


May

• Leona Aglukkaq, the incumbent Conservative MP, wins an easy victory in the May 2 federal election, taking nearly 50 per cent of the vote in Nunavut. Voter turnout stands at an abysmal 48.5 per cent. Aglukkaq’s Conservative party takes 166 seats nationally to form a majority government.

• Nunavut’s Piqqusilirivvik cultural school officially opens its doors May 4 in Clyde River.

• About 400 Arctic scientists call on the Arctic Council to push for stronger action on climate change, following a conference in Copenhagen.

• Foreign ministers from the eight nations that comprise the Arctic Council sign a binding agreement on search and rescue cooperation at a meeting in Nuuk, Greenland.

• Northern Property REIT pays about $51 million to buy up a collection of properties owned by the Nova group of Edmonton, including the Nova Inn, the Navigator Inn and the incorrectly-spelled Qamutiq office building in Iqaluit.

• The Inuit Circumpolar Council issues a declaration on resource development in the Arctic. In it, the ICC says oil and gas development should not go forward unless Inuit benefit and the environment is protected.

• Nunavut Sivuniksavut celebrates the grand opening of its new home in Ottawa May 14.

• Tununiq MLA James Arvaluk, who is struggling with a serious heart condition, announces his resignation from the Nunavut legislature May 16.

• Parnuna Egede, who recently completed graduate studies in biology, and Minik Rosing, a Greenlandic geologist, urge Inuit to embrace Western science and to cease their assertion of special Inuit knowledge.

• Tandberg Eindom AS, a Norwegian investment company, reveals plans to bring the wrecked hulk of the Maud from Cambridge Bay back to Norway, where they plan to restore the ship as part of a historic site honouring explorer Roald Amundsen.

• A damning survey on oral health among Inuit finds that one in five Inuit over the age of 40 have no teeth.

• The Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for the North finds the life expectancy for Nunavik (66.7 years) is worse than figures for Iraq and Uzbekistan, while Nunavut (68.7 years) would place 119th in the world if it were a country.

• Air Greenland announces that there’s not enough interest in a Canada-Greenland air link to make such a route viable.

• Nunavut MLAs choose Iqaluit Centre MLA Hunter Tootoo to serve as speaker of the Nunavut legislature.

• In a lengthy rant delivered in the legislative assembly, Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley dumps on the Globe and Mail for publishing a lengthy article that calls attention to Nunavut’s nation-leading rates of suicide and violence.


June

• A group of Cambridge Bay residents organize themselves in an effort to prevent the sunken remains of the Maud from being taken to Norway.

• Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq says her Conservative government will not eliminate its $36.2 billion operating deficit by cutting transfers to the territories and provinces.

• Jeffrey Salamonie, 44, of Cape Dorset, is charged June 6 with first degree murder in the death of Daisy Curley, 33, whose lifeless body was found May 24, 2009 at house 1631 in Iqaluit. The Nunavut RCMP solve the crime with the help of two retired RCMP investigators who were brought in to do a complete review of all evidence gathered.

• Nattilik MLA Jeannie Ugyuk calls on district education authorities to do more to encourage attendance at school.

• The Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission recommends a new electoral map for Nunavut, re-organizing the territory into 22 constituencies. Later in the year, MLAs approve the plan, with some name changes.

• Finance Minister Keith Peterson announces the GN has hired retired civil servant Ken Lovely to produce a report on restructuring the territorial government, through splitting the Department of Health and Social Services into two pieces and eliminating the tiny CLEY department.

• Inuit climate change activist and Nobel Peace prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier will be featured on a Canadian stamp, Canada Post announces.

• The discovery of four bodies in Iqaluit, victims of a murder-suicide, leave the entire territory reeling. Dead are Sylvain Degrasse, 44; Vivian Sula Enuaraq, 29; Alexandra Degrasse, 7; and Aliyah Degrasse, 2. Sylvian Degrasse and Sula Enuaraq lived together in a relationship. Alexandra and Aliyah were their children.

• Daniel Vandermuelen, the former president of Arctic College, becomes the most powerful civil servant in the Nunavut government when Premier Eva Aariak appoints him as deputy minister of the Executive department. In other moves, Chris D’Arcy becomes deputy minister of finance and Joe Kunuk becomes deputy minister of human resources.

• A search continues for Angela Meyer, 22, an Inuit woman who went missing in Yellowknife in the fall of 2010.

• ITK releases its long awaited national education strategy.

• The Alianait Arts Festival kicks off in Iqaluit June 21.

• Participants at an anti-poverty forum in Iqaluit call for more programs aimed at combatting food insecurity among Nunavummiut.


July

• The so-called “dangerous predator,” Air Canada, quietly drops its Iqaluit-Ottawa-Montreal jet service as of Aug. 1.

• Peter Mackey, president of the Qulliq Energy Corp., fends off allegations that he used corporation staff and property to do work on a house in Iqaluit for which he is alleged to be a part-owner. Mackey said he doesn’t live in the house in question and gained no benefit from activities alleged to have taken place there.

• Mike Gardener, Iqaluit’s beloved Anglican minister, is named to the Order of Nunavut, along with Jose Kusugak and Mark Kalluak, who will receive posthumous orders.

• Qikiqtaaluk Logistics Inc., a subsidiary of Qikiqtaaluk Corp., lands a big contract to finish environmental cleanup work on the decommissioned Cape Dyer DEW line site.

• Isuma Igloolik Productions Inc., the company that made Atanarjuat and other well-known films, is put into receivership by its largest creditor, the Atuqtuarvik Corp. of Rankin Inlet, which is owed $500,000. The receiver, RSM Richter Inc. of Montreal, will put the company’s assets up for sale.

• Idlout Korgak, 32, of Rankin Inlet, is charged with second degree murder and failure to remain at the scene of an accident after Paul Kataluk, 52, was killed after being struck by an ATV.

• The Government of Nunavut launches the MV Nuliajuk, a 64-foot fisheries research vessel.

• A group of Cambridge Bay residents circulate a petition asking that the sunken hulk of the Maud remain in Canada.

• Charlie Nakashook, 51, of Cambridge Bay, dies by suicide July 6 at Kingston Penitentiary. A preliminary autopsy showed that Nakashook, who was serving a four and a half year sentence for sexual assault, drug trafficking and break-in convictions, hanged himself in his cell.

• National aboriginal leaders, who meet with federal and provincial premiers at a Council of the Federation gathering in Vancouver on July 20, ask Prime Minister Stephen Harper to hold a first ministers meeting on aboriginal issues within 12 months.

• Officials with NTI and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans start talks aimed at resolving a dispute over the export of narwhal ivory from Canada.

• Numbers from Statistics Canada show that in 2010, crime rates in Canada fell to their lowest levels since 1973 — but in Nunavut crime rose by 4 per cent over the previous year.

• Canadian Orebodies Inc. announces an “aggressive exploration program” for its Haig Inlet iron project near Sanikiluaq.

• The Government of Nunavut, at a press conference in Iqaluit, defends its controversial tele-pharmacy scheme.

• Two brothers, Tommy and Noah Kalluk of Arctic Bay, drown in Admiralty Inlet while on a seal hunting trip.


August

• Paul Crowley, a well-known Iqaluit lawyer, becomes Premier Eva Aariak’s principal secretary, replacing Joe Kunuk, who becomes deputy minister of human resources.

• Filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami president Mary Simon are named recipients of the Governor General’s Northern Medal.

• Governor General David Johnston and his wife Sharon visit Iqaluit, Qikiqtarjuaq, Repulse Bay, Kugaaruk and Resolute Bay between Aug. 15 and Aug. 21.

• Nominations open for by-elections in Iqaluit West, Tununiq and Pangnirtung.

• On Aug. 15, Iqaluit hunters catch a 14-metre bowhead whale.

• The Qikiqtani Inuit Association issues a statement saying they don’t like the idea of using Steensby Inlet as a location for a port and railway terminal for shipping Mary River iron ore to markets in Europe.

• Twelve people, including all four crew members, die Aug. 20 when First Air charter flight 6560 crashes into a hillside close to Resolute Bay. Three people — seven-year-old Gabrielle Pelky, 23-year-old Nicole Williamson, and 48-year-old Robin Wyllie — survive after they are thrown clear of the wreckage. Canadian Forces members positioned in Resolute Bay for Operation Nanook cancel a mock disaster exercise and respond to the real one. Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits Resolute Bay Aug. 23 to console survivors. The Transportation Safety Board launches an investigation that’s likely to take a year to complete.

• Nunavut’s legal services board, which runs legal aid services in Nunavut, terminates Peter Harte, the popular Cambridge Bay lawyer.

• A study sponsored by a group of government agencies concludes that Arctic Canada is a “telecommunications backwater.”


September

• The Hamlet of Cape Dorset returns the delivery of social service programs to the Government of Nunavut, ending an arrangement with the territorial government that dates back to April 1994.

• A study done as part of the 2007-2008 Qanuippitali health study finds six of every 10 Inuit living in the Canadian Arctic either eat the wrong foods or don’t get enough to eat.

• The Conference Board of Canada predicts mining exploration will produce a 15.7 per increase in Nunavut’s GDP in 2012.

• On the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack that brought down the World Trade Centre in New York City, family and friends remember Louise Egan, a veteran Nunavut nurse who died Sept. 11, 2001 while visiting her brother on the upper floors of the WTC’s south tower.

• The Government of Nunavut unveils a long-awaited suicide prevention action plan that’s aimed at carrying out the suicide prevention strategy developed in 2010.

• In Nunavut legislative assembly byelections held Sept. 12, Monica Ell wins Iqaluit West, Hezekiah Oshutapik wins Pangnirtung, and Joe Enook wins Tununiq.

• The Nunavut Employees Union announces it will hold strike votes among bargaining units that represent workers with the Government of Nunavut and the Qulliq Energy Corp.

• Justice Earl Johnson, following a preliminary inquiry, orders that Jimmy Nowdlak, 27, of Iqaluit, be tried for manslaughter in connection with the 2010 death of a Pond Inlet woman who was sexually assaulted near Iqaluit’s Astro Hill complex in September 2008. Johnson found there was not enough evidence to support trial on a first degree murder charge.

• Gjoa Haven voters decide Sept. 19 to reject a proposal that would end their community’s dry status.

• The Conservative government tables an omnibus crime bill called the Safe Streets and Communities Act, which creates new mandatory minimum sentences for various drug and sex offences. It’s expected to have a major impact on Nunavut offenders.

• Rick Hansen, the famous Canadian paralympian and fundraiser, visits Iqaluit Sept. 25 and Sept. 26.

• Louisa Killiktee, 28, of Cape Dorset, pleads guilty to manslaughter in an Ottawa courtroom for causing the death of Arlene Lahey, 44, in 2009. Killiktee is eventually sentenced to four years and five months in prison on top of time she has already served.

• South Baffin MLA Fred Schell, in his third attempt, wins a seat on the Nunavut cabinet. Schell is eventually put in charge of the Department of Human Resources.

• Jamesie Kownirk, 27, of Iqaluit, pleads guilty in an Ottawa courtroom to second degree murder in connection with the January 2010 stabbing death of Jean-Denis Mitrow of Vanier. Kownirk is sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 10 years.

• Sam Kinak, 40, of Arviat is sentenced to 14 years in prison for manslaughter. Kinak killed his girlfriend, Lisa Malla, 23, in September 2008.


October

• Laura Arngna’naaq, 22, originally from Baker Lake, becomes the first aboriginal student to ever enroll in the University of Toronto’s demanding Master’s program in management and professional accounting.

• In another movement aimed at dismantling a “community empowerment” arrangement made in 1994, the Hamlet of Cape Dorset withdraws from the management of social housing in the community. In April 2012, an appointed housing authority will take over.

• A major glitch hobbles the Anik F2 satellite early Oct. 6, knocking out long distance calling, Internet, cell phone, electronic banking and some airline services across Nunavut and much of northern Canada for about 14 hours.

• Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, the minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, goes into damage control mode after Radio Canada reports on an audit that reveals the agency suffers from widespread financial management shortcomings.

• The premier of Greenland, Kuupik Kleist, sets out his vision for 2050: an independent Greenland based on resource development and higher education.

• A report done by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. finds that Inuit in Nunavut face a “linguistic crisis” and that leaders at all levels should take steps to support the continued use of the Inuit language.

• Sudliq Developments Ltd., an Inuit-owned firm in Coral Harbour, loses a Nunavut government fuel distribution contract to the Katudgevik Co-op Ltd., part of the Arctic Co-operatives Ltd. network. The owner, Louie Bruce, launches an appeal.

• Norman Pickell, the Nunavut integrity commissioner, spanks South Baffin MLA Fred Schell for contravening Nunavut’s ethics law in 2009, when he sent a threatening email to GN employees aimed at getting favourable treatment for Polar Supplies Ltd, a business in Cape Dorset that Schell owns. In January 2010, Schell put Polar Supplies into a blind trust.

• Sangani Osuituk, 50, a well-known carver from Cape Dorset, is found dead at housing unit 2219B in Iqaluit in what police suspect is a homicide. Police take a 21-year-old woman into custody, then release her without laying a charge.

• The Baffin Correctional Centre goes into lockdown Oct. 20 after three inmates try to set a fire.

• The GN pleases homeowners by cutting gasoline and home heating oil prices, but they anger the territory’s airlines by raising the price of jet fuel. The airlines say they’ll likely pass the extra cost on to customers.

• Nunavut MLAs vote for a new set of constituency boundaries that will be used in the 2013 territorial election. The number of seats in Nunavut will rise from 19 to 22.

• Adlair Aviation loses an appeal it filed against the GN after it lost the Kitikmeot medevac contract to Aqsaqniq Airways Ltd. In August, despite widespread support for Adlair among people in the Kitikmeot region.

• Nunavut MLAs vote Oct. 31 to impose a $1,000 fine on South Baffin MLA Fred Schell and to censure his actions. At the same time, they reject Integrity Commissioner Norman Pickell’s report on Schell, which recommended a $500 fine. That’s because MLAs objected to the idea that an outside official can investigate an elected member for something said in the House.


November

• Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami marks its 40th anniversary with a two-day conference in Ottawa based on the theme: “From Eskimo to Inuit in 40 Years.”

• Western Arctic MP Dennis Bevington, a New Democrat, writes to the Auditor General of Canada to ask for an investigation into the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, accusing Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq of “inappropriate and heavy-handed interference.”

• The Utility Rates Review Council holds public hearings on a big rate adjustment application from the Qulliq Energy Corp. It’s the first in a series of step by step rate adjustments through which the corporation hopes to even out power rates among Nunavut communities.

• The federal government increases air cargo subsidies for most northern communities that use the Nutrition North Canada program.

• The 2011 Nunavut health indicators report shows that the state of population health in Nunavut hasn’t improved much since 2004, when the last such report was issued. A person born in 2005 in Nunavut can expect to live only 69.8 years, compared with 80.2 years for Canadians in general.

• The Crown stays a charge of second degree murder against Susie Nakasuk, 32, of Iqaluit, on the grounds that there is not enough evidence to get a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt. Nakashuk had been charged in connection with the death of Kelly Lucassie, 43, whose body was found inside housing unit 309C in February 2010.

• Joe Enook, the newly-elected MLA for Tununiq, applies for a social housing unit in Pond Inlet, but is turned down for being an ineligible applicant.

• Respected elder Paingut Annie Peterloosie, a winner of a 2011 Aboriginal Achievement Award, dies Nov. 12 in Pond Inlet.

• The District Education Authority in Arviat approves the distribution of bibles in all three of the community’s schools.

• The Northern store in Rankin Inlet pulls glow-in-the-dark Ouija boards off its shelves, after a customer complains that the popular parlour game causes suicides.

• Adlair Aviation Ltd. suffers a stunning loss Nov. 19, when general manager Paul Laserich, 52, dies suddenly in Yellowknife of natural causes.

• Rankin Inlet North MLA Tagak Curley quits cabinet, saying he disagrees with a proposal to split the Department of Health and Social Services into two departments. Premier Eva Aariak appoints Cambridge Bay MLA Keith Peterson to replace Curley.

• An exchange of gunfire between Iqaluit RCMP members and a teenaged boy leaves 24-year-old Arthur Wilson with a wound in his head after a bullet passes through the wall of his staff house and grazes his skull while he sleeps.

• Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. approves the creation of a new trust to manage mineral production royalties.

• Ruben Arnakallak, 31 is charged with second degree murder in the death of Esa Arnakallak on Nov. 25.

• The GN and NTI wrap up a territory-wide summit on poverty, talking about a vision to combat poverty that will form the basis of a plan to be released later.

• Jorgan Aitoak of Cambridge Bay is appointed to the Order of Military Merit for his work as a Canadian Ranger.

• Biologist John Nagy finds that the population of the Beverly caribou herd is not disappearing rapidly and that the herd has shifted its calving ground to the Queen Maud Gulf area.


December

• The Nunavut Employees Union announces that 89 per cent of workers at the Qulliq Energy Corp. have voted in favour of strike action, if necessary.

• Searchers spend weeks looking for Jamesie Kootoo, 67, the mayor of Kimmirut, after he goes missing during a hunting trip. But Kootoo is never found.

• In a narrow victory, Okalik Eegeesiak is re-elected president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

• David Nineongan of Rankin Inlet wins 46 per cent of the vote to take the presidency of the Kivalliq Inuit Association.

• The Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. backs out of a big pre-development scheme planned for 2012 after the proposal attracts strong criticism from stakeholders.

• The Nunavut Association of Municipalities gets its act together, sort of, at a special meeting in Iqaluit, where Whale Cove Mayor Percy Kabloona is named interim president. Nunavut mayors accept the resignation of interim executive director Shani Guerin and turn to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities for administrative help. It’s not clear when the organization will get a permanent executive director and staff.

• The CRTC rules that companies other than Northwestel may offer local telephone service within Northwestel’s service area as of April 2012.

• A Canadian Forces report finds Sgt. Janick Gilbert, a rescue technician who died near Igloolik Oct. 27, struggled with faulty equipment and extreme weather.

• Thieves break into a Canada Post storage facility in Pangnirtung, stealing or damaging most of the Christmas presents stored there.

 

 

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