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NTI Calls for Fairness in Awarding of Food Mail Program Contract

NR 05-41 FMP ENG Food Mail.doc

(November 18, 2005 – Cambridge Bay, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. Annual General Meeting members passed a resolution calling for fairness in awarding the Food Mail Program contract in Nunavut.

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (DIAND) runs the Food Mail Program in Nunavut communities. Canada Post manages the program on behalf of DIAND. By contracting airlines, Canada Post brings in nutritious, perishable food products and other essential items to isolated northern communities at reduced rates.

The contract for airfreight for the program is currently up for renewal.

Article 24 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement is intended to assist Inuit firms in bidding for government contracts in Nunavut. Its goals include increasing Inuit participation in the Nunavut economy through government contracting. However, Canada Post officials have stated that Article 24 provisions do not apply to the Food Mail Program contract.

Because this is a DIAND service and not a Canada Post service, the provisions of Article 24 do, in fact, directly apply to the contract. We want to ensure that Canada Post awards this contract fairly and in a manner that respects the obligations of the NLCA, said NTI President Paul Kaludjak.

When doing business in the Nunavut Settlement Area, Article 24 of the NLCA applies. NTI wants to ensure that Canadian North, the airline that Nunavut Inuit and Inuvialuit co-own, is given fair and equitable access to bidding on this contract, he said.

Kaludjak has already contacted DIAND Minister Andy Scott on this matter to ensure the process is transparent, fair and equitable, but AGM members directed Kaludjak to contact Minister Scott a second time to stress the urgency of the situation.

For further information:

Kerry McCluskey
Director of Communications
Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated
Tel: (867) 975-4914
Cell: (867) 975-1337
Toll-free: 1-888-646-0006