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Vacant GN positions, lack of staff housing concern Tununiq MLA

Pond Inlet has 183 territorial government positions but more than 70 of them — or close to 40 per cent — are vacant.
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Karen Nutarak, Tununiq MLA, asked the Human Resources minister to explain on March 9 why Pond Inlet has more than 70 vacant territorial government positions but so few staff residences to offer new hires. Trevor Wright/NNSL photo

Pond Inlet has 183 territorial government positions but more than 70 of them — or close to 40 per cent — are vacant.

This led to Tununiq MLA Karen Nutarak asking on March 9 why some of the advertised GN jobs come with staff housing while others do not.

Human Resources Minister Adam Lightstone replied in the Legislative Assembly that “the issue of staff housing is highly correlated to the overall housing crisis that we have in the territory… we have a very limited amount of staff housing units which are available and move-in ready.”

With such an acute shortage of staff residences, the Staff Housing Allocation Committee has, over the past few months, only been making staff housing available for positions related to public safety, Lightstone explained.

Nutarak followed up by stating that there are concerns in her community over staff housing units having remained vacant for extended periods of time. She asked Lightstone to provide details on that front.

He responded that there are currently eight staff housing units that are available and move-in ready, and those have been allocated to specific GN staff positions that are in the process of being filled.

There are also four housing units in Pond Inlet that require some renovations, he added.

Nutarak pointed out that Pond Inlet is a decentralized community with dozens of vacant GN jobs. She asked which department is responsible for deciding where new staff housing units are constructed.

Lightstone said the Nunavut Housing Corporation makes those decisions.