For over two years now, I've been living in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut and site of one of this year's northernmost Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup events! Part of the reason why there was so much garbage to collect along the main route is that Iqaluit is in desperate need for more public garbage and recycling bins. There are less than a handful along the main route through town.
In interviews conducted by DPRA with Northern professionals, there were four key issues that were common to all situations: housing, access to training and development opportunities, limited access to services (in smaller communities), and social and lifestyle issues. What are some practical solutions for government employers?
Some of the largest natural resource projects in all of North America are now sprouting up in the North and eastern Arctic with major companies taking risks alongside northerners. Together, companies and communities are reaping incredible rewards. Labrador's Muskrat Falls project has accelerated the completion of a paved highway and fibre optic line from Goose Bay to Labrador City.
Arctic Defenders, my 20th film is about the creation of Nunavut. The film demonstrates that political engagement was necessary to protect Inuit rights. It is told from the point of view of the visionary Inuit leaders, Tagak Curley and John Amagoalik and others who dedicated their lives to protecting the language, culture and environment of their homeland -- the Canadian Arctic.
Another jail opened in Nunavut last week. It is long overdue -- the existing facility in Iqaluit, Baffin Correctional Centre is, as Justice Mahar of the Nunavut Court of Justice recently said, "notoriously over crowded and under resourced." And yet a rather bland factual news story about the opening of the new prison in Rankin was met with a flood of angry comments about over pampered prisoners, club fed hotels and similar complaints.