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More money for Nutrition North?
Announcement expected shortly

Myles Dolphin
Northern News Services
Published Monday, February 17, 2014

The federal government's much-maligned food subsidy program will soon benefit from "enhanced funding," a prospect that has some Nunavummiut excited.

NNSL photo/graphic

Nunavut MP and Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq told Nunavut News/North to soon expect an important announcement from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt regarding the Nutrition North Canada program. - NNSL file photo

The promise was included within the government's 2014 budget, released Feb. 12.

Details of the funding are scarce, for the time being.

"Economic Action Plan 2014 commits to enhance funding for the program to help improve access to healthy food in these communities," the budget reads. "Details will be announced in the coming months."

Chris West, executive director of the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce, said it was the most important announcement for Nunavummiut.

"(The Nutrition North Program) still requires some work because there's no consistency throughout the program, with prices varying from store to store and from community to community," he said.

"I always bring up the example of asparagus. Here, in Iqaluit, we have two stores. At one store, the prices average $5.25 a bushel but at the other store, the prices average $9.29 for a bushel. How is Nutrition North Canada affecting that price?"

The program, which currently has a $60-million budget, is meant to reduce the price of nutritious food and help increase the access to healthy food.

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq told Nunavut News/North Feb. 13 to soon expect an announcement by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt regarding funding for the program.

"Stay tuned for that," Aglukkaq said.

The contentious federal program is still the subject of an audit by auditor general Michael Ferguson, who agreed to take a closer look at its effectiveness last July.

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