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Legislative Assembly Briefs
Municipalities in the black

Kent Driscoll
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Dec 04/06) - Levinia Brown didn't pull any punches when describing the former financial status of Nunavut's municipalities.

"As of March 31, 2003, 13 Nunavut municipalities had financial deficits and six of those communities had deficits well in excess of half-a-million dollars. Municipalities were in a financial crisis," said Brown, the minister of community and government services, while in the legislature last week.

She had better news for her colleagues this week, saying that only one community still has a deficit, and that will be wiped out in the first financial quarter.

What are they doing in Baker Lake?

Peter Kattuk grilled Ed Picco over the services provided by Nunavut Power.

""When the people from Sanikiluaq phoned this number (Nunavut Power in Baker Lake), they kept telling them to phone this office, that office, and everything else. What does the power office in Baker Lake do," asked Kattuk, Sanikiluaq MLA.

Picco explained that Baker Lake handles bill processing, prompting another Kattuk question.

"When a customer phoned Baker Lake, they were told to phone Cambridge Bay. What is the purpose of your office in Cambridge Bay," asked Kattuk.

Picco admitted that "it is very difficult for me to answer why the call was rerouted to Cambridge Bay."

Kattuk was not finished.

"They were told in Cambridge Bay to phone Iqaluit. What is the purpose of the office in Iqaluit," asked Kattuk.

Picco answered that bills are processed in Baker Lake, that each region has its own power office, and he would look into the specific request for Kattuk.

Soccer stars

When asking Ed Picco about homeless people in Nunavut, Cambridge Bay MLA Keith Peterson and Picco traded jibes over their soccer ability.

Picco told Peterson to come to the opening of the new Salvation Army shelter in Iqaluit to get a better look at what is being done to combat homelessness.

Peterson answered, "I think him and I are playing indoor soccer that day, so we will be spending the afternoon together."

Picco begged off, saying, "I'm not sure if I could play soccer, I hurt my knee."

Peterson was quick to retort, saying, "You sit beside the minister of health, so maybe you should get you knee checked out before Saturday, because I totally expect him to be there."

Word from Curley

Tagak Curley, representing Rankin Inlet North, has missed this session of the legislature due to illness. Levinia Brown, his counterpart from Rankin Inlet South/Whale Cove, passed along his regrets, and a message from the veteran Rankin Inlet MLA.

"He would like me to relay a message to say thank you... he is listening to his doctors and will be back to the session in January," said Brown.