Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010: A year of crisis for Nunavut Canada - crime, booze, guns & dysfunction

A grim 12 months, 2010 marked by violent crime, government dysfunction
NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Hunter Tootoo, left, then the minister of housing, with Alain Barriault, the president of the Nunavut Housing Corp., at a press conference in May 2010 when they revealed the first of two multi-million dollar cost overruns created by two federally-funded social housing construction program. The corporation's blunders will cost the Government of Nunavut an extra $110 million. (FILE PHOTO)
Hunter Tootoo, left, then the minister of housing, with Alain Barriault, the president of the Nunavut Housing Corp., at a press conference in May 2010 when they revealed the first of two multi-million dollar cost overruns created by two federally-funded social housing construction program. The corporation's blunders will cost the Government of Nunavut an extra $110 million. (FILE PHOTO)
Douglas Scott Sr. and Marla Scott, the parents of RCMP Const. Douglas Scott, speak to reporters in Iqaluit this past March, shortly after Douglas Scott's killer, Pingoatuk Kolola, was found guilty of first-degree murder.
Douglas Scott Sr. and Marla Scott, the parents of RCMP Const. Douglas Scott, speak to reporters in Iqaluit this past March, shortly after Douglas Scott's killer, Pingoatuk Kolola, was found guilty of first-degree murder.
Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq and Chuck Strahl, then the minister of northern affairs, announcing the Nutrition North Canada program at a press conference held May 21, 2010 in Iqaluit. Nutrition North, which will provide air cargo subsidies to retailers for the shipment of perishable nutritious food, will replace the food mail program April 1, 2011. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq and Chuck Strahl, then the minister of northern affairs, announcing the Nutrition North Canada program at a press conference held May 21, 2010 in Iqaluit. Nutrition North, which will provide air cargo subsidies to retailers for the shipment of perishable nutritious food, will replace the food mail program April 1, 2011. (FILE PHOTO)
The revered Inuit leader, Jose Kusugak, speaking at the Inuit Circumpolar Council's general assembly this past June. Kusugak, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, urged all Inuit to get regular medical checkups and to think of him and his family. (FILE PHOTO)
The revered Inuit leader, Jose Kusugak, speaking at the Inuit Circumpolar Council's general assembly this past June. Kusugak, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer, urged all Inuit to get regular medical checkups and to think of him and his family. (FILE PHOTO)
The waters of Lancaster Sound, photographed this past summer. The status of Lancaster Sound became a source of confusion and bitter controversy in 2010, after Natural Resources Canada proposed the use of German research vessel to conduct seismic testing there for a 48-hour period. The project was torpedoed after the Qikiqtani Inuit Association obtained a temporary injunction against the scheme in court. Later in the year, John Baird, the federal environment minister, unveiled a boundary proposal for a national marine protected area that would take in most of Lancaster Sound. (FILE PHOTO)
The waters of Lancaster Sound, photographed this past summer. The status of Lancaster Sound became a source of confusion and bitter controversy in 2010, after Natural Resources Canada proposed the use of German research vessel to conduct seismic testing there for a 48-hour period. The project was torpedoed after the Qikiqtani Inuit Association obtained a temporary injunction against the scheme in court. Later in the year, John Baird, the federal environment minister, unveiled a boundary proposal for a national marine protected area that would take in most of Lancaster Sound. (FILE PHOTO)
Paul Kaludjak, the the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., speaks at a meeting of he Kitikmeot Inuit Association this past spring. Later in the year, Kaludjak lost his high-paying job after he was caught using NTI's corporate credit card to make $52,000 in unauthorized expenditures. On Dec, 13, Nunavut beneficiaries elected Cathy Towtongie of Rankin Inlet to replace him. (FILE PHOTO)
Paul Kaludjak, the the president of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., speaks at a meeting of he Kitikmeot Inuit Association this past spring. Later in the year, Kaludjak lost his high-paying job after he was caught using NTI's corporate credit card to make $52,000 in unauthorized expenditures. On Dec, 13, Nunavut beneficiaries elected Cathy Towtongie of Rankin Inlet to replace him. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak rode through a turbulent year in 2010, but survived a vote on her leadership held later in the year. (FILE PHOTO)
Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak rode through a turbulent year in 2010, but survived a vote on her leadership held later in the year. (FILE PHOTO)
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse released a four-part series of booklets on Dec. 9 in Ottawa, which were created in partnership with Tungasuvvingat Inuit and healer Meeka Arnakaq of Pangnirtung. The four-part series was transcribed from Arnakaq’s original handwritten Inuktitut manuscripts and translated into English.
The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse released a four-part series of booklets on Dec. 9 in Ottawa, which were created in partnership with Tungasuvvingat Inuit and healer Meeka Arnakaq of Pangnirtung. The four-part series was transcribed from Arnakaq’s original handwritten Inuktitut manuscripts and translated into English. "It was important to me to have my work translated into English as I wanted to provide opportunities for non-Inuit and Inuit health care workers and educators to learn about the cultural context of the people they are helping in Nunavut and other Inuit regions," Arnakaq said. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CCSA)
An unrelenting succession of violent incidents shocked Nunavut residents throughout 2010, culminating in a series of shoot-outs and homicides in Cape Dorset.
In health care, the news was equally grim, as the territory racked up a record number of confirmed new tuberculosis infections.
Two big federally-funded social housing construction programs totalling $300 million worth of spending — aimed at easing overcrowded housing conditions linked to poor health — blew up in the Government of Nunavut’s face when the GN revealed cost overruns of at least $110 million.
The GN absorbed another blow to its waning prestige when the Auditor General of Canada, Sheila Fraser, issued a report on human resources that found the GN is incapable of evaluating its own staff and hasn’t a hope of meeting its stated Inuit employment goals.
At the same time, the beleagured Nunavut government launches a task force aimed at improved the territorial Liquor Act and starts consultation processes aimed at the future creation of an anti-poverty strategy and a revamped Child and Family Services Act.
January
• Abbie Ootoova of Pond Inlet stars in Night, a new play that opens Jan. 4 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
• The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami launches the Inuit Qaujisarvingat centre, which is devoted to bridging gaps between Inuit and scientists.
• A coalItion of groups that includes the Inuit Circumpolar Council and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami files a legal challenge against the European Union’s ban on the importation of seal products.
• David Idlout, 39, of Resolute Bay, is plucked from an ice pan in Barrow Strait by the crew of a Canadian Forces Cormorant helicopter after he spent three days adrift.
• The Tahera Diamond Corp. puts a for sale sign onto what’s left of its bankrupt Jericho diamond mine.
• Nunavut and Nunavik residents respomd to a catastrophic earthquake in Haiti with generous donations and fundraising campaigns, including a $25,000 cheque from the Government of Nunavut.
• A study published by the Canadian Medical Association finds that Inuit babies die at a rate three times higher than babies in the rest of the country.

February
• A Laval University researcher predicts the Inuit language will never become a functional language of work until more people learn how to read and write it well.
• Hundreds of government officials and journalists flock to Iqaluit for a meeting of G7 finance ministers.
• Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak, at a speakers’ forum held in connection with the Iqaluit G7 meeting, says that by 2030 she envisions a Nunavut that enjoys a strong, prosperous economy in which poverty is eliminated.
• Jim Flaherty, the federal finance minister, tells reporters covering the G7 conference in Iqaluit that Nunavut won’t suffer as a result of Ottawa’s deficit-cutting efforts.
• The Qulliq Energy Corp. gets $5.8 million from the Canadian Northern Development Agency, or Can-Nor, to help pay for $14 million worth of diesel generator replacements in eight Nunavut communities.
• Bureaucratic inertia and intimidated parents who were reluctant to complain allowed former teacher Ed Horne to get away with the sexual abuse of Inuit children in the 1980s, says a report prepared for the Government of the Northwest Territories. The report, written in December 1985, was made public only after an access to information request.
• Members of the Qulliq Nunavut Status of Women Council complain that their members still feel intimidated by GN and Inuit association employers when they attempt to speak freely about violence against women.
• At a language conference held in Iqaluit, many delegates speak in favour of creating a standardized version of the Inuit language.
• A plan to build 44-unit Inuit housing project in Ottawa suffers a fatal blow when the Anglican diocese of Ottawa withdraws its support.
• The first-degree murder trial of Pingoatuk Kolola, 39, of Kimmirut begins in Iqaluit. Kolola was accused of murder of RCMP Cst. Douglas Scott, 20, on Nov. 5, 2007.
• Enuk Pauloosie, who was elected MLA for Nattilik in the Oct. 27, 2008 territorial election, quits his seat in the Nunavut legislative assembly Feb. 22. In 2009, the legislative assembly had suspended Pauloosie from the entire spring session that year for numerous unexplained absences.
• Pangnirtung’s new health centre opens after many delays. The building was supposed to have been completed in November 2008.
• Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., on Feb. 27, pours the first gold bar to be produced at the Meadowbank gold mine

March
The federal government announces new Arctic shipping regulations that require the mandatory registration of all vessels with 300 tonnes or more of displacement and any vessel carrying dangerous goods of potential pollutants.
• The Arctic Winter Games, which includes teams from Nunavut and Nunavik, runs from March 6 to March 13 in Grande Prairie, Alta.
• The Government of Nunavut lends $130,000 to the Sanikiluaq district education authority after the local body, in the previous fall. ran out of money to hire casual staff and buy cleaning supplies. The GN does not release the result of an audit and no one explains where the money went.
• Lucie Idlout’s Swagger album is nominated for a Juno award in the aboriginal album of the year category.
• Jim Flaherty, in the 2010-11 federal budget, announces small amounts of new federal spending on northern health care, nutrition and scientific research.
• RCMP forensic investigators from Ontario wrap up a probe into the Nunavut Business Credit Corp. that the Government of Nunavut ordered in November 2007. Police turn the results of their investigation over to Crown lawyers and GN officials. After that, the issue dies.
• The GN moves its medical travel office back to Iqaluit from Pangnirtung in response to numerous complaints from patients throughout the Baffin region.
Dan Shewchuk, the Nunavut environment minister, announces that the annual kill quota for the Baffin Bay sub-population of polar bear will gradually drop from 105 to 65 over four years.
• Air Canada starts a daily passenger service between Iqaluit and Ottawa, using a ground service contract with Canadian North.
• Keith Peterson, the Nunavut finance minister, announces $1.3 billion in spending within what he predicts will be a balanced budget for 2010-11. Highlights include new spending on education, training, government liason workers and the development of an anti-poverty strategy.
• A jury finds that Pingoatuk Kolola of Kimmirut is guilty of first degree murder in the November 2007 shooting death of Cst. Douglas Scott. Kolola recieves a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment with no parole eligibility for 25 years.
• With cabinet members abstaining, the Nunavut assembly votes in favour of a motion ordering the Nunavut Liquor Commission to stop buying alcohol products from the European Union. Nunavut residents with import permits may continue to buy such products from suppliers outside Nunavut.
• The GN launches a two-year, $1.5 million review of the Child and Family Services Act.
A proposal to outlaw international trade in polar bear parts goes down to defeat March 18 at a meeting of the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Doha, Qatar.
• The Government of Nunavut and the City of Iqaluit work out a master plan that would see a new $40 million terminal built near the old federal building in Iqaluit.
• Keith Peterson, Nunavut’s finance minister, announces the creation of a task force whose 10 members will tour Nunavut and then recommend ways of improving the territory’s liquor act.
• Hilary Clinton, the U.S. secretary of state, blasts Canada for hosting a five-nation gathering of Arctic states outside of the Arctic Council
April
• Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd., owner of the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake bids for and then acquires the Meliadine gold property near Rankin Inlet from Comaplex Minerals Corp.
• Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon visits an ice camp on Borden Island, where researchers are gathering data for submission in 2013 to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the body that will recommend new international boundaries for certain areas of the Arctic.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans doubles its population estimate for narwhal in the waters around North Baffin, from 30,000 to 60,000 animals.
• A coroner’s inquest into the death of Julian Tologanak-Labrie starts April 12 in Cambridge Bay. On April 15, 2009, Tologanak-Labrie opened the door of a small aircraft flying from Yellowknife to Cambridge Bay and jumped 7,000 metres to his death.
• Three Inuit associations in Nunavut — the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the Kivalliq Inuit Association, and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. — create a new company called Nunavut Resources Corp. to make investments in the mining industry. The Qikiqtani Inuit Association decides not to participate in the new firm.
• Property owners in Cambridge Bay complain about a rash of furnace outages fter more than 200 furnace fuel pumps break down. Many residents blame a faulty fuel supply.
• The late Willie Laserich of Cambridge Bay is inducted into Canada’s aviation hall of fame.
• Jeannie Ugyuk of Taloyoak wins 51.1 per cent of total ballots cast to defeat two opponents from Gjoa Haven in a by-election held April 26 to fill the vacant Nattilik seat. Ugyuk, the second woman to serve in the current legislative assembly, replaces Enuk Pauloosie, who resigned Feb. 22.
• The RCMP releases the results of an investigation into the disputed territorial election for Iqaluit West held Oct. 27, 2008. Their investigation finds that ineligible voters did cast ballots, but not enough to affect the outcome of the election, which Paul Okalik won by a margin of 44 votes.
• The Canadian Forces wraps up its 2010 version of Operation Nunalivut, which involved dog team and snowmobile patrols around the northern end of Ellesmere Island.
• The Nunavut Impact Review Board holds public meetings aimed at helping to set guidelines for an environmental review of Areva’s Kiggavik uranium mine proposal.

May
• A Nunavut woman, Rosie Audlakiak of Qikiqtarjuaq, wins the grand prize in the “fur re-invented” competition at the Fur Council of Canada’s Montreal fur show.
• In the first of two embarrassing bombshells, red-faced officials at the Nunavut Housing Corp. admit that, due to gross errors in planning, Nunavut Housing Trust will exceed it’s $200 million budget by $60 million in cost overruns.
Commercial shipping companies, at a conference in Montreal, complain that the lack of charts, docks and navigational aids pose big dangers for vessels operating in Canadian Arctice waters.
• Greenland issues 14 exploration licences to 12 international oil companies for exploratory drilling within an offshore area that’s roughly equal in size to England and Wales. Cairn Energy of Scotland prepares for a summer drilling program off Disko Island. Anti-development voices within the Inuit Circumpolar Conference raise concerns, but Greenland’s home rule government brushes them aside.
• A new study published in the Journal of Nutrition finds too many Nunavut children eat large amounts of sugary, fat-laden foods like candy, soft drinks, sweetened juices, high sugar cereals, chips and sugary baked goods. Researchers found that four in 10 children are overweight and three in 10 are obese.
• A helicopter rescues five people from a remote location near Ellesmere Island after their Kenn Borek Twin Otter breaks through sea ice.
• The Government of Nunavut fires Tony Noakes Jr. from the fire marshal’s job after he blows the whistle on a variety of fire safety hazards at the Baffin Correctional Centre.
• The federal government appoints Edna Elias of Edmonton, well-known Inuinnaqtun educator and translator, to serve as commissioner of Nunavut. Elias succeeds Ann Hanson of Iqaluit, whose term expired earlier in the year.
• A 16-year-old boy from Sanikiluaq is charged with second-degree murder, in connection with an incident that led to the death of Lucassie Emikotailak, 27, on May 2.
• Chuck Strahl, then the northern affairs minister, announces $320,000 in spending to help pay for construction of a new $2.2 million Arctic fisheries research vessel for the Government of Nunavut. The vessel is expected to launch sometime in 2011.
• Chuck Strahl, then the northern affairs minister, and Leona Aglukkaq, the health minister, announce a new Arctic food subsidy program called Nutrition North Canada, which will take effect April 1, 2011.
• Raymond Kayasark, 56, of Kugaaruk, quits a vice-president position with the Kitikmeot Inuit Association after he is charged with sexual assault in connection with an incident alleged to have occurred March 18.
• The trial of Chris Bishop, 24, starts May 26 in Cambridge Bay. Bishop three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident that occurred Jan. 6, 2007.

June
• A motion to remove Housing Minister Hunter Tootoo from cabinet, put forward by Iqaluit West MLA Paul Okalik and South Baffin MLA Fred Schell, dies on the order paper. The two MLAs said they wanted to punish Tootoo for the Nunavut Housing Corp.’s financial debacle. But Okalik did explain why he did not rise to begin debate on the motion.
• A plan by the Akitsiraq Law School Society to offer a university level law program to 25 Nunavut residents falls by the wayside when Keith Peterson, the finance minister, rejects a $3.57 million funding application.
• A plan by Natural Resources Canada to do to sea-borne seismic testing in Baffin Bay collapses amidst confusion and controversy after a botched attempt to explain the project at a series of community meetings in north Baffin. Later in the summer, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association torpedos the proposal by winning a temporary injunction in the Nunavut court.
• A six-man, six-woman jury in Iqaluit finds Chris Bishop guilty on three counts of second-degree murder and two counts of second attempted murder. In August, Justice John Vertes sentences Bishop to a mandatory term of life in prison, with no parole eligibility for 16 years.
• Nunavut’s first correctional centre for women opens June 11 in Iqaluit, fixing a serious gap that in the past had prompted lawyers to launch lawsuits alleging the Government of Nunavut was violating the Charter rights of female inmates.
• Nunavut MLAs wrap up their spring session by re-allocating about $16 million in cuts to pay part of the Nunavut Housing Trust debacle.
• Ole Henrik Magga, a Saami professor from Norway, tells an international gathering that indigenous people should show more respect for science, saying science is “nothing more than organized common sense.”
• The 10-day Alianait arts festival kicks off June 21 in Iqaluit.
• Nearly 600 people attend an elaborate ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Meadowbank gold mine near Baker Lake.
• As the Inuit Circumpolar Council prepares to meet in Nuuk, big political divisions emerge among the Inuit of the circumpolar world, prompted by Greenland’s aggressive oil exploration policies
• The First Nations Bank opens a branch inside Iqaluit’s Kamotiq Centre, and promises to open two more Nunavut branches within five years.
• Kirt Ejesiak defeats Violet Ford and Madeline Redfern to win election to the vice-presidency of the Canadian wing of the Inuit Circumpolar Council. Duane Smith hangs on to the presidency, after chair Violet Ford casts the deciding ballot.

July
New Canadian regulations requiring the mandatory registration of all vessels greater than 300 tonnes that sail in Arctic waters come into effect July 1.
• Aqqaluk Lynge wins the the chairmanship of the Inuit Circumpolar Council July 1 by acclamation at the organization’s general assembly in Nuuk, Greenland.
• Jose Kusugak, stricken with terminal cancer, tells ICC delegates meeting in Nuuk that all Inuit should get regular medical check-ups.
• Police in Cape Dorset defuse a nine-hour standoff with an armed 20-year-old.
• The ICC general asssembly in Nuuk wraps up July 2 with a “salute to the seal.”
• Iqaluit artist Claude Roussel’s winning design for the new Order of Nunavut medal is unveiled in Iqaluit July 9.
The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre reports that Arctic Ocean sea ice melted faster in June than at any time over the past 30 years.
• Const. Greg Redl and Const. David Brown rescue a seven-year-old Cambridge Bay boy from drowning. The boy had been playing near the dock late at night.
The Nunavut Bureau of Statistics predicts that the territory’s population will reach 44,000 by 2036,
• The James Bay Cree gain ownership over a chain of James Bay islands located in a a far-flung corner of Nunavut, through the July 7 signing of the Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement.
• Shear Minerals of Edmonton buys the bankrupt Tahera Diamond Corp.’s Jericho Mine for a bargain basement price: $2 million in cash and $3.6 million worth of Shear’s stock.
• Peregrine Diamonds digs up more diamond formations at its Chidliak site near Iqaluit, but they’re still a long way from proving the existence of a commercially viable deposit.
• Thomas Josephee, 21, of Iqaluit, gets six years in jail for a near-deadly shooting spree behind Inuksuk High School in June 2009.
• Fred Elias, a longstanding executive director at the Kitikmeot Inuit Association dies of cancer at age 63.
• Numbers from Statistics Canada show that in 2009, Nunavut owned the highest overall crime rate in Canada.
• Nunavut’s chief justice, Robert Kilpatrick, tells the federal government that Nunavut desperately needs two more judges to avert an “impending crisis” in the court system.
• Three RCMP members in Cape Dorset work a 24-hour shift without rest after the arrival of a booze shipment in the community July 28 leads to mayhem, including an incident in which a man fired shots towards a group of children. Qavavau Shaa, 18, faces a total of 12 criminal charges, mostly involving firearms and mischief.

August
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen sails out of Iqaluit Aug. 2 with more than 100 scientists, students and crew members for a 10-day research voyage through the Northwest Passage to Kugluktuk.
• The 2010 edition of Operation Nanook, in which more than 900 personnel operate over a vast area stretching from Pond Inlet to Resolute Bay, runs from Aug. 6 to Aug. 26.
• Prime Minister Stephen Harper appoints B.C. MP John Duncan as the new minister Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and shifts Chuck Strahl to the transport portfolio.
• Justice Sue Cooper orders a temporary injunction Aug. 8 that prevents the start of a seismic testing project in waters off North Baffin Island, effectively killing the project. Cooper does not rule on the question of whether governments performed their duty to consult Inuit, but found that lawyers for the Qikiqtani Inuit Association “raised a serious issue” worthy of a trial. The federal government then abandons the project and no trial on the issue is held.
Hunters in Pond Inlet harvest a 42-foot bowhead whale.
• National Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff visits Iqaluit Aug. 11 as part of his Liberal Express summer tour. He uses the occasion to blast the Conservative government for failing “to translate words into deeds” on numerous issues essential to life in Nunavut.
• Abraham Nakoolak of Rankin Inlet is charged with manslaughter following the sudden death Aug. 14 of Douglas James “DJ” Gamble, 23, also of Rankin Inlet.
• Jennifer Watkins of Kuujjuaq is elected president of the National Inuit Youth Council.
• John Duncan, the minister of Indian affairs and northern development, makes and official apology to the High Arctic exiles at an event in Inukjuak.
• Prime Minister Stephen Harper makes a five-day tour of the three northern territories, starting Aug. 23.
• On Aug. 24, while weathered in at Churchill, Stephen Harper announces that the federal government has selected Cambridge Bay to host a multi-million dollar High Arctic research station that’s expected to create up to 55 jobs in the community.
The cruise ship Clipper Adventurer runs aground on a rock about 55 nautical miles east of Kugluktuk, putting the lives of about 200 passengers and crew members at risk. The rock had been charted in 2007, but the ship’s master did not have the information. The crew of the coast guard vessel Amundsen, which happened to be in the area, performs a quick rescue.
• The board of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. suspends the organization’s president, Paul Kaludjak, for two months, after he’s caught making about $52,000 of unauthorized expenditures on the organization’s corporate credit card. At the organization’s annual general meeting, held later in the fall, delegates vote to remove him as president.

September
•  The Nanny, a fuel tanker owned by Woodward’s Oil, runs aground near Gjoa Haven. The ship’s crew eventually frees the vessel from the sandbar it’s stuck on, and Woodwards sends another vessel to resume fuel shipments to the Kitikmeot.
• Greenland arrests and deports four activists from Greenpeace who scale an oil rig off the country’s west coast operated by Cairn Energy. Greenland’s premier, Kuupik Kleist, says the Aug. 31 occupation is “an illegal attack on Greenland’s constitutional rights.”
Monuments commemorating the ordeal of the High Arctic exiles are unveiled in Resolute Bay and Grise Fiord.
• The premiers of Nunavut and Manitoba agreee to do a cost-benefit study on a Nunavut-Manitoba road.
• The Government of Nunavut launches a review of its Child and Family Services Act.
• The Newmont Mining Corp. accelerates activity at its Hope Bay gold project this summer and hopes to produce ore by 2011.
• Bobby Suwarak, 40, of Baker Lake, is charged with indecently interfering with human remains after two graves in the community’s cemetery are dug up. Suwarak, who is deaf, is able to communicate only in Inuit Sign Language.
• Tagak Curley replaces Hunter Tootoo as Nunavut housing minister, while retaining responsibility for the Department of Health and Social Services. Tootoo moves on to the education portfolio and assumes responsibility for the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Committee. Lorne Kusugak takes responsibility for the Qulliq Energy Corp.
• In an Ottawa courtroom, Tim Kadluk, 26, orginally from Nunavut, is sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter. On New Year’s Eve 2008, Kadluk killed Joshua Oqallak of Arctic Bay in a drunken brawl. Kadluk battered and kicked Oqallak at least 52 times, mostly using his steel-toed boots.
• A Cape Dorset man, Peter Kingwatsiak, 18, is charged with second-degree murder, aggravated assault, break and enter and possession of a dangerous weapon, following a string of violent events. His step-brother, Mappaluk Adla, was found shot to death Sept. 20, while another man was stabbed in the head.
• Members of the Kahnawake United Church erect a monument to honour Inuit from seven Arctic communities who died in Montreal between 1950 and 1959 and who are buried in the church cemetery.
• Following a series of sexual abuse scandals in Belgium, it comes to light that Father Eric Dejaeger, a Roman Catholic priest who served in Nunavut in the 1970s and 1980s, is still wanted for six sex charges related to the molestation of children in Igloolik in the early 1980s.
• Another financial bomb explodes inside the Nunavut Housing Corp., when it’s revealed that the $100 million Affordable Housing Initiative ran up $50 million in cost overruns for social housing construction. This means the size of the corporations construction debacle now stands at $110 million.
• Beneficiaries of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association elect a new vice-president, Joe Allen Evyagotailak of Kugluktuk, to replace Raymond Kayaksark of Kugaaruk, who resigned after he was charged with sexual assault.
• Nunavut’s languages commissioner, Alexina Kublu, announces that she’ll conduct two investigations into Inuit language services at the Government of Nunavut.
• Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Inc. launches a hostile takeover bid against Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. Baffinland’s board urges shareholders to wait for a better offer. Early in November, the European steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal makes its own offer and the ensuing bidding war carries into the New Year.

October
• Nunavut Finance Minister Keith Peterson won’t rule out spending cuts or a deficit to cover the latest $50 million cost overun at the Nunavut Housing Corp.
• The Qulliq Energy Corp. files a request for a 19.3 rate increase across all electricity rate categories, citing rising labour and operation costs.
• Cape Dorset’s social crisis spins out of control Oct. 10, when a young Cape Dorset man goes berserk and about 15 RCMP members are brought in to help he local detachment clean up the mess. Elee Geetah, 19, of Cape Dorset, faces a long list of charges, including a charge of second degree murder related to the shooting death of his brother, Jamesie Simigak, 23.
• On Oct. 14, Cape Dorset suffers yet another dangerous firearms incident when two gun-toting teenagers fire rounds at houses and exchange gunfire with police.
• On Oct. 15, RCMP Chief Superintendent Steve McVarnock announces that he’s granted a special health break to all four members of the Cape Dorset detachment. “This is something that the average person does not experience in their lifetime,” McVarnock said.
Air cargo subsidies are removed from a variety of non-nutritional products Oct. 3, in a transition towards the Nutrition North Canada program, which will start April 1, 2011.
• Nunavut cannot move from its current have-not state without massive spending on transportation infrastructure, Premier Eva Aariak says in a speech given at a conference on economic development and sovereignty in Iqaluit.
• In a big report issued Oct. 20, the Qikiqtani Truth Commission says the Government of Canada must formally acknowledge that the Qikiqtani region’s numerous social ills are rooted in the many traumas of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
• The Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. launch of a massive, Nunavut-wide “public engagement process” Oct. 18 that’s aimed at the creation of an anti-poverty strategy.
• RCMP in Cape Dorset arrest a teenage boy who threatened to use a firearms against another boy with whom he had been fighting. Police seize several unsecured and improperly stored firearms.
• Finance Minister Keith Peterson table a $122.5-million capital plan Oct. 19 to cover building projects in the 2011-12 fiscal year.
• Amittuq MLA Louis Tapardjuk resigns from the Nunavut cabinet, saying he wants to spend more time with his family.
• Justice Ted Richard is named as the head of a commission that will recommend changes to Nunavut’s electoral map ahead of the next territorial election.
• A special working group releases a new suicide prevention strategy that recommends all levels of government, all organizations and all residents work together on suicide prevention.

November
• After a much-hyped leadership review, Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak and all six of her cabinet ministers keep their jobs.
• The Nunavut Teachers’ Association goes ballistic over a Government of Nunavut wage offer that would offer no wage increases over the four-year of their next collective agreement. The government’s offer also contains a proposed restructuring of a bonus paid to Inuit language teachers. Talks on a new wage-benefit deal continue.
• Uqqummiut MLA James Arreak leaves the speaker’s job and becomes a cabinet minister, filling the spot vacated by Amittuq MLA Louis Tapardjuk. At the same time, MLAs elect Paul Okalik to serve as their new speaker.
• Executives from Nunavut’s two biggest retailers, Northwest Co. and Arctic Cooperatives Ltd., tell a Commons committee that they support Nutrition North Canada.
• Eleven people emerge to contest the presidency of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and seven people emerge to contest two NTI vice president positions, when nominations close for NTI executive elections to be held Dec. 13.
ArcelorMittal, the European steel-making giant, steps in to make an offer to buy all shares of the Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. Baffinland’s board supports the bid, and continues to advise shareholders to reject a counter-offer from Nunavut Iron Ore Acquisition Corp.
• First Air expands its ATR service in the Kivalliq region.
Canada Post officials and the RCMP seize $800,000 worth of illegal drugs and alcohol bound for Nunavut and Nunavik during a four-day search of the Canada Post sorting station in Montreal.
• A group of Nunavut lawyers complains that the territory’s child protection system fails to protect children.
• The Canadian North airline tells a Commons committee that they strongly support Nutrition North Canada, because it forces airlines to compete with one another for subsidized nutritious food freight.
• Justice Robert Kilpatrick rules that two sections of the Child and Family Services Act are unconstitutional, because they don’t provide for prompt hearings in court after child apprehensions.
• Cape Dorset art legend Kananginak Pootoogook, 75, dies in an Ottawa hospital.
• Crown prosecutors withdraw drunk driving charges laid against Baker Lake MLA Mose Aupaluktuk on Nov. 9, 2009, saying they can’t prove the vehicle in which Aupaluktuk was found that evening could have been put in motion. Aupaluktuk still faces a minor liquor act charge, for which he will enter a plea March 1, 2011.

December
• Sakku Investments Corp. and First Air join forces to create a new airline, Sakku First Aviation Ltd., to go after business created by the Kivalliq region’s growing mining and mineral exploration industries.
• Representatives from the Inuit Circumpolar Council, who attend the 16th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, demand money from a $100 billion fund intended to help less developed states adapt to climate change.
• GN officials pitch the idea of using private money to build and lease back two big-ticket items in Iqaluit: a new air terminal and a joint legislative assembly and heritage centre.
• John Baird, the federal environment minister, unveils proposed boundaries for a national marine conservation area in and around Lancaster Sound. But talks with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association on a feasibility study and Inuit impact and benefits agreement have yet to start.
• Nunavut Sivuniksavut moves into a big new home inside a renovate bank building on Rideau Street in Ottawa.
• Premier Eva Arreak puts Hunter Tootoo in charge of the Department of Human Resources and appoints Lorne Kusugak as Government House Leader.
• Nunavut Environment Minister Dan Shewchuck blasts a U.S. proposal to list bearded and ringed seals as threatened, calling it an “unwelcome and misguided initiative that could negatively impact Inuit.”
GN health officials admit that 2010, when 99 new cases were recorded, is the worst year ever for tuberculosis in Nunavut.
• Premier Eva Arreak appoints Joe Kunuk to serve as her principal secretary.
• Cathie Towtongie defeats 10 other candidates to take the presidency of Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Soon after her victory, Towtongie declares that she’ll reduce her salary from $179,000 a year to $159,000, use a lower-cost two-bedroom apartment instead of NTI’s big president’s house and drive her own vehicle instead of one supplied by NTI.
• James Eetoolook and Jack Anawak win election to NTI’s two vice-president positions.
• George Eckalook is re-elected as vice-president of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.
• Madeleine Redfern, an Iqaluit consultant and Akitsiraq law school grad, is elected mayor of Nunavut’s capital.
• In an announcement that enrages Inuit hunters, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announces a ban on foreign sales of narwhal tusks harvested from 17 Inuit communities.
• Nunavut hockey star Jordin Tootoo of the Nashville Predators voluntarily enters a substance abuse program sponsored by the National Hockey League and the NHL Players Association. In the 32 games he played this season, Tootoo recorded four goals, six assists and 47 penalty minutes. In a statement, the Predators’ general manager, Bud Poile, says “there is no timetable for his return.”


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