Countdown to Nunavut
Social impact study will review decentralization

Kerry McCluskey
Northern News Services

IQALUIT(Aug 24/98) - The Office of the Interim Commissioner wants to examine the negative social effects a decentralized model of government might have on the communities.

Announced by Geela Giroux, the advisor of social programs for the OIC, the social impact study will review decentralization and look at ways of preparing the communities for the potential social problems that will come with a surge in the number of people.

"We want to find out from the communities what is important about the influx of population and what that's going to do for them and what they foresee," says Giroux.

She adds that the OIC wants to prepare community residents as much as possible and prevent problems from occurring by strengthening existing services and creating new ones.

A consulting firm will be hired by the middle of September to take on the study and a report on the matter will tentatively be available by December. As it currently stands, the headquarter offices of the Nunavut Government are to be spread out across eleven Nunavut communities.

Lodgings needed

The municipality of Iqaluit is asking homeowners to help them out with an accommodations crunch. Because of the huge number of visitors expected to be in Iqaluit on April 1, 1999 for the Nunavut celebrations, the town is anticipating that there will be a severe shortage of space.

Any homeowners interested in providing lodging and some meals to visitors are asked to contact Marlene at the municipal office. Because town officials want to draw up an official list of names and organize a workshop explaining guidelines and expectations of visitors, interested parties are asked to register by September 21. A rate will be paid to the host families although the amount has not yet been set.

Ministers meet

The federal and territorial/provincial ministers responsible for the status of women planned to meet in Iqaluit over the weekend.

Led by federal minister Hedy Fry, the group was scheduled to talk about issues surrounding violence against women, ways to improve the economic picture for women in Canada and general health issues.

It was also expected that the topic of the role of women in Nunavut and other division matters would be tabled by territorial minister Manitok Thompson. This is the first time the meeting -- now in its seventeenth year -- has been held in the North.