Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut July 11, 2012 - 2:41 pm

Nunavut government starts major retrofit

New Department of Family Services set for April 1, 2013

NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Government of Nunavut will forge ahead with a long-anticipated plan to break the Department of Health and Social Services into two stand-alone units, the GN announced July 11.

A new entity called the Department of Family Services will come into being April 1, 2013.

“This will give social services the attention it needs and will bring together resources that are spread out among different departments,” Keith Peterson, the health and social services minister, said in the announcement.

Aluki Rojas, the current deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs, will serve as deputy minister of the new family services department.

Rojas will start work Aug. 1, 2012, when she will oversee the transition to the new structure.

The new family services department will absorb the following functions:

• Social Services (from existing Health and Social Services department);

• Income Support (from education department);

• Social Advocacy Office (from EIA department);

• Anti-Poverty Secretariat (from Economic Development);

• Homelessness (from Nunavut Housing Corp.)

“Nunavummiut have made it clear that a greater emphasis must be placed on strengthening services for our families and helping those most at-risk,” Premier Eva Aariak said.

Also on April 1, 2013, the Department of Human Resources will disappear and its core functions will move into the Department of Finance and the Department of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs.

“The restructuring will not result in job loss or relocation of employees between communities,” Monica Ell, the current minister of human resources, said in the announcement.

Other restructuring moves took effect on or before this past July 1.

They include:

• renaming the old CLEY department, in English, to Department of Culture and Heritage;

• Moving sports and recreation functions from Culture and Heritage to the Department of Community and Government Services;

• Moving responsibility for the Piqqusilirivvik culture facility in Clyde River to Nunavut Arctic College;

• Moving the energy secretariat from EIA to the Department of Economic Development and Transportation.

These changes flow from a report done for the GN last year by Ken Lovely, a veteran territorial civil servant.

Lovely’s report has yet to be made public.

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