Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Cathy Towtongie today welcomed the tabling of the NNI Comprehensive Review documents in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. The review documents clearly show the need to make substantial changes to the NNI Policy and its enforcement.
“The NNI Policy is meant to implement Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Article 24, but I have heard from many Inuit businesses that it is not being applied properly and that changes are required. We need specific changes to the way it is administered and in the policy itself,” said Towtongie.
Towtongie made the comments following the release of two reports: an independent review of the NNI Policy by the legal firm Borden-Ladner-Gervais; and the report of the NNI Review Committee. The review committee is a joint NTI-GN committee for which the BLG report was prepared. Towtongie stated that the report shows that the NNI Policy is very important to Inuit firms, but actually costs very little for the government to apply.
“The argument we often hear is that the cost to implement the NNI Policy drives up the cost to government, but this is completely false and misleading. The research conducted by BLG and reinforced by the NNI Review Committee clearly demonstrates that the associated additional costs to implement such an important government policy is minimal,” said Towtongie. “The NNI Policy is intended to meet the objectives of Article 24. All government departments and agencies are obligated to follow it. The report shows that this is not happening, and this must change immediately.”
The BLG report found that the Qulliq Energy Corporation has not followed the NNI Policy, although it is clearly obligated to. The BLG report also suggested changes to the NNI bid adjustments, under which businesses may be eligible to receive a competitive adjustment of up to 21 per cent on bids or proposals. Without changing the 21 per cent bid adjustment ceiling, BLG proposes modifying the adjustments to provide more support for Inuit firms that demonstrate increased Inuit-ownership.
The reports are available on NTI’s website. NTI is encouraging members of the public and Nunavut’s business community to review and comment on the reports by Nov. 30, 2013. The NNI committee will consider these comments in making its final recommendations to NTI and the GN. Comments may be forwarded to the NNI Review Committee by post, fax, or email:
P.O. Box 638, Iqaluit, NU X0A 0H0