Ottawa group plans Aug. 18 protest against high food costs in Nunavut
“We’re still going to keep at it until we see changes"
A group of Inuit in Ottawa plan to rally against Nunavut food prices again Aug. 18 on Parliament Hill.
Their goal: to raise awareness in advance of the planned Nunavut-wide Aug. 25 protest.
“This time we have to come in solidarity to make actual changes,” organizer Deborah Tagornak said.
Tagornak and her fellow protesters take direction from the Nunavut Feeding My Family Facebook group.
“We’re the voice for our families in Nunavut communities,” Tagornak said.
Their Aug. 18 protest will be the third food price protest against the high cost of food in Nunavut in Ottawa.
The first was held June 21, Aboriginal Day, with about 80 people showing up throughout the day.
“The responses that we received was that this was outrageous,” said Tagornak about passersby who noticed their signs.
One read, “You are killing the North.”
The second protest was held in July, but this one was shorter and fewer people showed up. “We had a good turnout of about 60 considering the heat wave,” she said.
This time around, Tagornak has no idea how many people will show up.
But she has been organizing: she’s helped set up a five-person task force team in Ottawa, because its members are closer to members of parliament and have easier access to appropriate government departments.
This group’s members read Hansard regularly to see if efforts are paying off.
“It went as far as the Parliament Hill debate,” Tagornak said, adding that “it tweaked a nerve.”
The task force also has daily contact with Feeding My Family.
“We’re just people that had enough of what we see and what is happening with the high cost of food and mark-ups, all we ask for is transparency,” she said.
Since Feeding My Family movement has been up and running, “there are many wonderful things we have accomplished,” Tagornak said.
“We’re still going to keep at it until we see changes,” she said.