NEWS

Northerners react to AG's Nutrition North findings

11/26/2014 08:11 EST | Updated 01/26/2015 05:59 EST
People in Nunavut are pleased with the Auditor General’s findings that said the federal government can’t tell whether retailers are passing on the Nutrition North subsidy to consumers.

Leesee Papatsie is a food activist in Iqaluit, best known for founding the Facebook group, Feeding My Family, which now has over 21,000 members.

“It was really good to hear what the Auditor General said,” she says, “because that's what we've been saying all along: the program is not transparent enough.”

In Grise Fiord, Nunavut’s northernmost community on Ellesmere Island, where Nutrition North subsidies fund as much as $16 per kilogram, Laisa Audlaluk-Watsko says she wishes Nutrition North would be replaced with the old Food Mail program.

Under Food Mail, anyone who wanted to ship healthy food north could access a subsidized postal rate through Canada Post.

“It's a fundamental issue that needs to be looked at again and see if it can help us.”

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada manages the $60-million food subsidy program.

The minister in charge of AANDC, Bernard Valcourt, welcomed the Auditor General's recommendations.

He says the amount of food shipped has risen by about 25 per cent since Nutrition North's inception in 2011.

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