Natan Obed, president of the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami talks with reporters at the first ministers meeting in Montreal on Friday, December 7, 2018. (Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Inuit leader wants more input in changes to federal nutritional subsidy program

Share

Canada’s national Inuit organization says it wants to have a say in how the federal government changes a key nutritional support program designed to tackle the high cost of food for people living in isolated northern communities.

The federal government announced Monday changes to the Nutrition North Canada program to further reduce the cost of healthy foods in 117 isolated northern communities, where food prices can be up to five times higher than in southern Canada.

The changes, which will kick in as of Jan. 1 2019, include updates to the list of subsidized food and increasing subsidy rates, including a targeted subsidy towards frozen fruits and vegetables, milk, infant food and infant formula.

Ottawa proposes to invest an additional $62.6 million over five years in the program.

‘Nutrition North Canada was not working’

A price tag lists the price and subsidy of a 4-litre jug of milk at a grocery store in Iqaluit, Nunavut on December 8, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

The federal government also plans to introduce a $10.4-million Harvesters Support Grant to help lower the high costs associated with traditional hunting and harvesting activities, which are an important source of healthy, traditional food in many northern and Indigenous communities.

“Northerners and Indigenous people made it clear that Nutrition North Canada was not working, and we have listened,” said in a statement Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade Dominic LeBlanc.

“The improvements we have brought to the subsidy rates, the food eligibility list, as well as the support for country food, all come from our discussions with Northerners.”

Inuit input

Inuit hunters go out in their boat as the sun prepares to set in Iqaluit, Nunavut, Friday, August 21, 2009. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which represents about 65,000 Inuit in Canada’s north, said Ottawa needs to consult more with Inuit stakeholders, given food insecurity in Inuit communities across the vast expanse of the Canadian Arctic.

About 70 per cent of households in the Arctic territory of Nunavut are food insecure and similar challenges exist in all four Inuit populated regions, known collectively as Inuit Nunangat, Obed said.

All but one of the 51 Inuit communities are eligible for subsidies under Nutrition North Canada. About 80 per cent of the federal subsidy is directed to Inuit communities, Obed said.

“This Inuit food insecurity happens despite Nutrition North being in place, and despite Canada being one of the wealthiest countries in the world,” Obed said. “We welcome the federal government’s willingness to establish an Inuit specific food security working group.”

However, Monday’s announcement was made outside of the newly established bi-lateral Inuit Crown food security working group, Obed said.

“Our expectation going forward is that the federal government will work jointly with Inuit through the recently announced Inuit Crown bilateral process on food security to make the necessary and foundational systemic changes to NNC so it evolves into an accountable, transparent social program that reduces food insecurity in Inuit communities,” Obed said.

Share
Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Health, Indigenous

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*