Inuit gov. in Atlantic Canada gives gas allowances to harvesters under COVID-19 program

An aerial view near the Labrador community of Nain in the Atlantic Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. A new COVID-19 subsidy for marine harvesting was announced on Tuesday by the Inuit government in this part of Labrador. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)
The Inuit government in the Atlantic Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador will be giving gas allowances to marine harvesters under the new Nunatsiavut COVID-19 Marine Harvesters Support Program.

Nunatisavut, the Inuit self-governing region of Labrador, announced the allowance on Tuesday, saying it would be available to anyone that was a beneficiary of the Labrador Inuit Land Claim Agreement.

Under the new program, boat owners that are harvesting country food for themselves, or for their, or other families, will be entitled to the allowance.

Those eligible will receive a voucher from the government for 50 litres of gas a week.

The Nunatsiavut Assembly in the community of Hopedale in Atlantic Canada. (Courtesy Nunatsiavut Government)
Snowmobile gas subsidies discontinued

In the news release announcing the new program, the government also said that gasoline subsidies for snowmobiling would be suspended in Nunatsiavut on or before June 1.

In the community of Rigolet, the suspension has already come into effect as of May 26.

The Nunatsiavut government has put in place a number of programs to help the region’s communities weather the economic impact of COVID-19, including a food supplement program, as well as other measures targeted to individuals over 60, or those whose hours were cut or laid off from their jobs because of the pandemic.

The total population of Nunatsiavut is 2,560 people living between five communities along the Atlantic coast: Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville and Rigolet.

Write to Eilis Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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