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Organizing committee chairperson Norma Lefurgey and committee member at large Robert Connelly appeared before Rankin Inlet hamlet council this past month seeking a $6,000 commitment to the 2005 Nunavut Trade Mission to Manitoba.

The price of growth

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Rankin Inlet (Mar 02/05) - Kivalliq hamlets are being asked to contribute $6,000 towards sending delegates to the 2005 Nunavut Trade Mission to Manitoba.

The mission will take place April 26 to May 1, and will be comprised of Nunavut Day celebrations on April 27 in Winnipeg and Rural Forum 2005 from April 28-30 in Brandon.

Rural Forum is a Western Canadian community economic development conference aimed at supporting development in rural, remote and Northern communities.

Nunavut will be represented by 40 to 50 delegates from government, economic and Inuit organizations, business representatives and youth from each Kivalliq community.

Youth delegates will take part in leadership building sessions, a planning forum and entrepreneurship seminars.

Organizing committee member at large Robert Connelly said the mission has produced a number of accomplishments during the past three years, including business partnerships.

Connelly said a Kivalliq construction company partnered with a manufacturing firm from Manitoba that its reps met at Rural Forum.

He said the company was paying high prices to have cabinets shipped up on the barge for homes it constructed. "The Kivalliq company had workers laid off in the winter who weren't cabinet makers, but they certainly could assemble them," said Connelly.

"The manufacturer sent the cabinets up in pieces and the Kivalliq company had its workers assemble them here to create employment during their down time of the year.

"The Manitoba company sells some product, and the Kivalliq company saves on shipping and keeps some of its employees at work.

"A win-win example of the type of deal this mission can help create."

The 2004 mission received $40,000 from Kivalliq Partners in Development, $25,000 from the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (youth expenses), $16,000 from Community and Government Services (CG&S) and $10,000 from the Keewatin Business Development centre.

Money from CG&S is not available this year.

"The $6,000 we're asking each hamlet for will go towards sending two municipal or community representatives of their choosing.

"It's an expensive project, but the potential for economic growth combined with the benefits to our youth outweigh the financial cost."