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Nunavut minister questioned on efforts to bring gov't jobs to communities

Finance Minister David Akeeagok was asked in the Legislature how the government plans to bring non-decentralized communities 'into the fold.'

Finance minister asked about how non-decentralized communities will be brought 'into the fold'

The question of decentralization — an effort to spread public service jobs throughout the territory — was raised in the Legislature on Monday. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Several communities in Nunavut have not been part of the territory's decentralization process, and one MLA wants to know what the territorial government plans on doing about that.

At the Legislative Assembly on Monday, Arviat North-Whale Cove MLA John Main asked the minister of finance what the government plans to do to bring more public service jobs to communities that have been previously not been included in the decentralization process.

Decentralization is a way of spreading jobs throughout Nunavut. The government would put public service jobs in communities other than large hubs like Iqaluit, to bring more opportunity across the territory.

"Whale Cove is a community like others across Nunavut that are non-decentralized," said Main. He wanted Finance Minister David Akeeagok to explain "whether he's had any discussions regarding bringing those non-decentralized communities into the fold."

Akeeagok said the territorial government is continually looking for communities that have not been in the decentralization process.

"If there are any new projects or programs that are surfacing, those are the communities that we tend to target," said Akeeagok.

He said he represents three communities which are not decentralized.

Nunavut's Finance Minister David Akeeagok said the territorial government is continually looking for communities that have not been in the decentralization process. (Travis Burke/CBC)

Main said Inuit employment levels are higher in Nunavut's decentralized offices.

Main also asked whether the minister had any plans to strengthen the already existing decentralized locations in the territory. He asked if there are any specific initiatives to give them more power and more infrastructure.

"Decentralization is rooted right into our policies and our procedures within our government, in terms of ensuring that staff… are maintained in the various communities," said Akeeagok.

Akeeagok said the government is trying to make sure that 60 per cent or more of the headquarter positions are in decentralized communities.

With files from Nick Murray

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