(May 26, 2010 — Iqaluit, Nunavut) Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. President Paul Kaludjak said he is pleased to see movement to improve the Food Mail Program but is cautious about the program’s transformation into the Nutrition North Canada Program.
“I have heard for many years now from beneficiaries that the savings through the Food Mail Program aren’t seen at the consumer level.” said Kaludjak. “I am glad we now have an opportunity to address accountability. We need to see mechanisms in place to ensure the savings are going to the consumers.”
One of the welcomed revisions is addressing the need to ship country food more affordably.
“Country food is the most viable nutritious option in our diet and it is very important culturally. I am glad to see commercially produced country food covered in the new program but it needs to go a step further and allow individuals to send country food to family and friends with subsidized shipping.”
Another positive change is the introduction of an Advisory Board to the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs.
“To date we have not been consulted about changes to this program, but under Article 32 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement all programs administered in Nunavut by the government must involve Inuit in the design and delivery of the program.” said Kaludjak. “The Advisory Board is a step in the right direction but it is important to remember it doesn’t negate Article 32, it complements it. We still need to be involved and consulted with the design of the program.” concluded Kaludjak.