05/08/2014 08:05 EDT | Updated 07/08/2014 05:59 EDT

CanNor president: ‘Decisions are made in the North’

The President of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency maintains decisions about agency programs are made in the North, even though key staff are still based in Ottawa.

Earlier this week the Auditor General of Canada had some harsh criticisms of the agency.

In his spring 2014 report, Michael Ferguson said not enough of the agency's employees are based in the three territories.

CanNor's head office is supposed to be in Iqaluit, but more people are employed in Ottawa than in the Nunavut capital.

President Patrick Borbey said that doesn't impact the agency's decisions.

"Decisions are being made by people from the North, for the North, so our programs are being run in the North by our staff,” he said. “And of course our minister makes ultimate decisions with respect to projects and she's very much from the North so we're very proud to have strong, strong northern content."

Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq is the minister in charge of the agency.

Borbey said the agency has "had some success over the years" with employing more people in the North. 

"When we began with CanNor, we had about 13 employees in Iqaluit. We're now at 28," he said. "So we've more than doubled and we're committed to adding another seven positions during the course of this year to further strengthen our headquarters' function in Iqaluit."

When it comes to creating a workforce that better reflects the population of Nunavut, Borbey said the agency "continues to make improvements" and is "getting closer to a more representative workforce."

Borbey said CanNor worked with the Auditor General to come up with and implement an action plan to address his recommendations.