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Nunavut Economic Forum Board Discusses Economic Development with Minister of State (Northern Development)

NR 04-30 QAN ENG Economic Development.doc

(September 27, 2004 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Economic Forum President Monica Ell today formally presented Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Minister of State (Northern Development), and Nunavut MP Nancy-Karetak-Lindell with a new report on Nunavut’s economic development, called Qanijijuq (Preparing for the Journey).

The Nunavut Economic Forum produced Qanijijuq this fall in response to preliminary discussions held with the Hon. Larry Bagnell (Parliamentary Secretary for Indian Affairs and Northern Development) concerning Nunavut’s economic development. Qanijijuq builds on the premises originally laid out in the Nunavut Economic Development Strategy and calls for comprehensive investment in Nunavut’s development for the territory to achieve economic, social and environmental well-being.

In an effort to advance the progress made during the previous consultations with Bagnell, the Forum invited Blondin-Andrew and Karetak-Lindell to Iqaluit to discuss Northern development, and in particular, to address the $90 million Northern Development announced by federal Finance Minister Ralph Goodale earlier this year.

We are very pleased that Minister of State Blondin-Andrew was able to travel to Iqaluit to meet with our Board of Directors. It is important that federal programs be designed to meet the needs of Nunavut. Dialogue is necessary for this to occur. said Ell.

During her stay in Nunavut’s capital, Blondin-Andrew participated in round table discussions with the Nunavut Economic Forum’s Board of Directors. Topics included funding arrangements for the current fiscal year, as well as economic development over the next four years for which the Fund is intended, and the need for improved coordination of Northern economic programs by federal departments and agencies.

It is our experience that we need to work together when resources are tight. In the past Inuit met those challenges this way and survived. Today, we are facing a different type of challenge – a shortage of jobs, housing, training, expertise, capital. We need the Government of Canada to work with us as we strive to develop our own territorial economy and begin to address the challenges we face, starting with the disparity between Inuit and the rest of Canada, said Ell.