Press Release: Nunavik Cost-of-Living Reduction Measure Improvements
Kuujjuaq, Québec, April 1, 2016 – The Kativik Regional Government (KRG) and the Makivik Corporation announce adjustments to cost-of-living programs to better target support for the region’s most disadvantaged residents and to promote healthy lifestyles that take into consideration Inuit traditional activities and culture. The important improvements for 2016–2017 are:
- Under the Country Food Community Support Program, the subsidy payable to northern villages for country food purchases will be increased from 40% to 50%;
- Under the Food and Other Essentials Program, the subsidy applicable for baby products will be increased from 20% to 30% and gasoline distributors in the communities will be added to the list of participating retailers for the sale of camping fuel and snowmobile oil (camping fuel and snowmobile oil have been available under the Program at regular retail stores since July 2015);
- Under Elders’ Assistance, the annual assistance paid to eligible recipients will be increased from $1,500 to $1,750.
“The financial situation faced by most elders and families is difficult,” stated Makivik President Jobie Tukkiapik. “Lower prices for baby products will help young families. And, the increase in the assistance paid twice every year to elders can be used to reduce the costs of basic goods.”
“The subsidy under the country food program has been increased to better assist the northern villages to deliver this important initiative,” added KRG Chairperson Jennifer Munick. “Not only is the program improving access to country food for residents, but purchases are generating needed income for hunters in every community.”
An administrative adjustment has also been introduced to streamline reimbursement applications for all programs requiring attestation of residency. Attestation of residency sections on application forms may now be completed by northern village officials or by the human resources departments of selected employers.
Complete descriptions of all Nunavik Cost-of-Living Reduction Measures may be consulted at www.krg.ca/en/cost-of-living-program.
Funding for the Nunavik Cost-of-Living Reduction Measures is paid by the Québec government pursuant to the Agreement on the Financing of Measures to Reduce the Cost of Living in Nunavik. The Agreement is worth $33 million over three years and in effect until March 31, 2017.
Also under the Agreement, an in-depth study of the consumer patterns of Nunavimmiut is being conducted by Université Laval with a view to developing a comparative cost of living index. The results of the study are expected to be released later this year and will be used to define effective and long-lasting solutions to the cost-of-living in Nunavik.
The Nunavik Cost-of-Living Measures are determined jointly by the Makivik Corporation and the KRG. The criteria applicable to all the measures are subject to modification or cancellation at any time. The KRG is responsible for administering the implementation of the measures. For more information on all six Nunavik Cost-of-Living Reduction Measures, consult http://www.krg.ca/en/cost-of-living-program.
Cost of Living Program Coordinator
Kativik Regional Government Tel. 819-964-2961, ext. 2345
Communications Coordinator and Media Relations Makivik Corporation
The KRG is a non-ethnic public organization created in 1978, under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. The organization has jurisdiction over nearly the entire territory of Québec north of the 55th parallel in areas such as municipal matters, transportation, the environment, policing, employment, labour training, income security, childcare services, renewable resources, land-use planning, civil security and economic development.
Makivik is the development corporation mandated to manage the heritage funds of the Inuit of Nunavik provided for under the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement. Makivik's role includes the administration and investment of these funds and the promotion of economic growth by providing assistance for the creation of Inuit-operated businesses in Nunavik. Makivik promotes the preservation of Inuit culture and language as well as the health, welfare, relief of poverty, and education of Inuit in the communities.