New Social Measures Highlight KRG Regional Council Meeting in Kuujjuaraapik
May 31, 2019 - Kativik Regional Government council members adopted several social measures aimed at improving the well-being of Nunavimmiut during a four day meeting in Kuujjuaraapik.
The KRG’s commitment to improving the lives of Nunavik residents was highlighted by discussions on the upcoming new fiber optic internet network system, changes to the cost of living program and greater support for elders in every community.
“This was an important meeting that allowed the regional council to take stock of the significant social measures we are introducing. The KRG remains committed to the well-being of its residents and will continue to work on several new ideas proposed by regional council members at the meeting,” the chairperson of the KRG Jennifer Munick said at the conclusion of the meeting on Thursday.
A public call for tender will be opened June 12 for a turnkey solution to improving internet services using a marine fiber optic cable in the Hudson Bay. In addition, the roll out of cellular services should be completed this fall in several communities.
Furthermore, a six year $115.8-million agreement involving changes to the Cost of Living program will take effect July 1st. While several new measures will put more money in the pockets of Nunavimmiut, councillors acknowledged the need to ensure that the program remained on a sound financial footing.
In order to absorb a $2-million deficit in the program, there will be a temporary 5-per cent reduction in the rebate for essential items. The program will now cover all essential products.
More help for elders is also on the way. Local elder coordinators will be hired in all 14 communities to develop programs and services to meet their needs.
The council also applauded the work by Saturviit Inuit Women’s Association in helping victims of violent crimes overcome their trauma. They urged that the KRG examine the need to create an advocacy group for men in the same light as Saturviit.
The council also earmarked $120,000 to promote Inuit athletes participating in the Arctic Winter Games. The KRG also discussed the decline of hockey in Nunavik as well as where it could support the organization of hockey tournaments.
Several job-training programs were highlighted including the Mining Apprenticeship Program that has already allowed for more hiring at Raglan Mine and related companies where 18-per cent of the workforce is Inuit.
With summer just around the corner, several councilors expressed the need to accelerate the work on getting a new paving agreement with the Quebec Government in order to improve roads. Some arenas are also in dire need of renovations. The Municipal Public Works Department is reviewing the concerns expressed at the meeting.
Safety and security measures were also examined A new partnership agreement was signed between the Kativik Regional Police Force (KRPF) and the City of Montreal Police Force (SPVM) to ensure the security and protection of Inuit living in Montreal. Furthermore, councillors heard about new safety measures at the airports and the adoption of a Fire Safety Cover Plan that sets fire protection objectives for Nunavik communities.
Several initiatives and programs will be updated at the next KRG regional council meeting that will be held in Kuujjuaq in September.