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News Briefs: Monday, June 19, 2017

Renovated hamlet office almost ready

Gjoa Haven

The modernization of Gjoa Haven's hamlet office is close to complete and staff are planning to move back into the building the last week of June.

Several hamlet employees were relocated to another old hamlet building while renovations took place over the past year-and-a-half. The renovated hamlet office building will house the community's radio station, a search-and-rescue office and a justice worker's office. Updates include an elevator.

"It's beautiful, just beautiful," deputy mayor Megan Porter said. "The outside is really nice, the the inside as well. (There's) glass doors. It's always been spacious, they just put in new office space in different locations in the building."

Sanaqatiit Construction Ltd. is the general contractor on the project.

A 2011 report by Aarluk Consulting indicates that the original offices and council chambers were completed in 1984.

- Derek Neary

Rabies confirmed in Iglulik dogs


The Department of Health is reminding residents to be mindful of rabies symptoms after two Iglulik dogs were confirmed to have contracted the disease and a third dog was being sent for testing last week.

Dogs, foxes or wolves can transmit rabies to humans. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched should go to the health centre immediately.

- Derek Neary

New languages commissioner named


Helen Klengenberg will step into the position of languages commissioner, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly George Qulaut announced June 15.

The five-year-term position has been vacant since Sandra Inutiq resigned in May 2016 with a year remaining on her term.

"Helen Klengenberg has extensive senior management experience in both the public and private sectors," Qulaut stated in a news release.

"A proven advocate for language rights, she was a member of the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures that presented a landmark report on indigenous language revitalization to the Government of Canada. I am proud that she is our territory's first languages commissioner from an Inuinnaqtun-speaking community."

From Kugluktuk and fluent in Inuinnaqtun and English, Klengenberg was born on the land and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Ontario, a Master of Business Administration from Saint Mary's University and a certificate in Municipal Administration from McMaster University.

Klengenberg will serve in an acting capacity until confirmed at the September sitting of the legislative assembly.

- Michele LeTourneau

Capital prepares for royal couple


Iqaluit is preparing to host the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall June 29 for the first stop of their Canadian tour.

The couple will then visit Canadian Forces Base Trenton on June 30, before celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa July 1.

"We are pleased to have Their Royal Highnesses in Canada at such an important moment in our history. The Royal Couple will have the opportunity to meet and connect with Canadians who are making a difference in their communities and building a lasting legacy for Canada's future," stated Minister of Canadian Heritage Melanie Joly, whose department is organizing the visit.

While this is the first visit to Nunavut for the couple, the Prince of Wales visited Iqaluit, then part of the Northwest Territories, in 1970.

Iqaluit will host the official ceremony welcoming them to Canada, and there will be a community feast in Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park.

- Michele LeTourneau

Air shows on the way


The skies will be buzzing over Nunavut communities in June and July. The Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour will be putting on air shows in the territory, starting with Kitikmeot communities this week. Kugluktuk is first on June 19. That's followed by Cambridge Bay on June 20, Gjoa Haven on June 21, Taloyoak on June 22, Kugaaruk on June 23 and then over to Naujaat to begin Kivalliq shows. The tour will reach Baffin communities in July.

The Canadian Arctic Aviation Tour is the brainchild of several pilots who fly small aerobatic planes. They are travelling throughout Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, northern Quebec and Labrador in a quest to set a world record for the most consecutive air shows North of 60. The pilots will cover close to 31,000 km to reach 97 communities.

The initiative was undertaken this year in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

- Derek Neary

Plenty of seals and fish


The seals have been plentiful for hunters in Kugaaruk over the past month, said Mark Jr. Karlik, casual secretary/manager with the Kurtairujuark Hunters & Trappers Association.

"We're mostly looking out for baby seals. That's our delicacy here," he said. "We usually boil (the meat). Some people make a pot pie out of it. It's very delicious."

Arctic char fishing efforts have been successful as well, and there are bound to be more fish on the way as some community members have set nets in the cracks of the ice by the mouth of the river, near the ocean, Karlik said.

Numerous other species have been spotted nearby as well.

"We've been seeing some caribou and there's quite a few muskox not too far (away) in the past two months," he said. "Lots of geese and ducks (too)."

- Derek Neary

Cape Dorset cleans up

Kinngait/Cape Dorset

The annual community cleanup will take place in Cape Dorset June 26 to 30, and if the incentive to make the hamlet look better isn't enough in itself, the daily draws for prizes might convince people to participate.

The giveaways will include items as valuable as bicycles, said recreation director Will Sandoval.

"Basically they just need to come out and at least fill one garbage bag to be eligible to win a prize," he said.

Last year's rewards included bikes, furs and a barbecue, Sandoval said. Close to 125 volunteers of all ages took part in the 2016 cleanup.

"We had elders out there and I saw some three- or four-year-olds out there," Sandoval said.

The Northern store provides some prize funding through the fee it collects on the sale of plastic grocery bags, Sandoval added.

- Derek Neary

Boost your business


With the popularity of Facebook in Nunavut, the Iqaluit Chamber of Commerce has decided to host a workshop on the topic.

Boost your Business with Facebook runs Monday June 26, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Frobisher Inn.

The free workshop will provide participants with the most up-to-date tools, insights, and best practices for achieving success and staying safe on Facebook, according to the news release.

"As a special segment of the program, you'll have the opportunity to hear from, and speak directly to, The Office of the Privacy Commissioner and Public Safety Canada. This segment is a unique opportunity to better understand how to implement effective privacy and security measures for your small business," states the release.

Visit boostiqaluit.splashthat.com to register.

- Michele LeTourneau

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