by Richard Gleeson
Northern News Services
NNSL (Feb 10/97) - Federal, territorial and Nunavut leaders will gather in Cambridge Bay this weekend for a sixth meeting on division.
The focus of the meeting will be the Nunavut Implementation Commission's (NIC) second major report on division, Footprints 2, and a supplementary report dealing with the structure of the new eastern government.
Also on the table will be published responses to the report from the territorial government and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The federal government has said its response to Footprints 2 will be released at the meeting.
Among the most contentious issues at the meeting will be the hiring of existing GNWT staff. Footprints 2 recommended the hiring of territorial workers be conditional on performance evaluations.
In its response, the territorial government said existing staff in Nunavut should automatically be hired by the new government. The GNWT went further, saying that when considering hiring, preference should be given to qualified staff who have been laid off in Yellowknife.
Both Nunavut and GNWT leaders are hoping the federal contingent, headed by Indian and Northern Affairs Minister Ron Irwin, will give some indication of funding support for the new governments and for the transition.
Another issue that could prove divisive is NIC's recommendation that the new government be comprised of two-member constituencies, each consisting of a male and a female representative.
Deputy premier Goo Arlooktoo has also said the territorial government wants a dispute settlement mechanism at its disposal when no consensus can be reached by federal, territorial and Nunavut leaders. NIC has suggested the final say should be the federal government's.