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It's time to rebuild

Canadian North undergoes changes

Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 10/01) - Canadian North is a company looking for its own identity, and it has taken a step towards rebuilding.

The vice-president of the young company, Michael King, was let go and company officials say he will not be replaced.

"We have an identification problem because people in the south think Canadian North doesn't exist anymore," said the company's customer service manager in Iqaluit, Rey Icart. "This is a company we are rebuilding."

The president of Norterra and Canadian North, Carmen Loberg, will continue to push the company in its new direction.

Travellers and booking agents often don't realize that Canadian North isn't part of the defunct Canadian or that it exists at all. Canadian North is owned by Norterra, which is owned by the Inuvialuit of the Western Arctic and the Inuit of the Eastern Arctic. The joint venture group bought the company in 1999 from the airline Canadian International which later went bankrupt.

Last week, officials in Iqaluit celebrated the number of Inuit beneficiaries employed by the company. The customer service counter staff is made up completely of company beneficiaries. "Our goal is to hire as many Inuit as possible," said Icart.

The company employs 150 people and 17 per cent of those are aboriginal Northerners.