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Qirngnuq and Savikataaq bring awareness to harvesters' insurance programs

Netsilik MLA Emiliano Qirngnuq brought some clarity to the issue of insurance coverage for harvesters at the legislative assembly on Feb. 25.

He wanted to know how much money the Government of Nunavut pays to the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) for the harvesters’ insurance coverage.

Netsilik MLA Emiliano Qirngnuq discusses the WSCC with Joe Savikataaq, Premier and Arviat South MLA, on Feb. 25. photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

Joe Savikataaq, Premier and Arviat South MLA, informed the assembly that $100,000 per year in premiums is paid into this coverage program.

When a harvester is killed while harvesting, the family may be eligible for receiving a pension, explained Qirngnuq. “The WSCC will also help pay for the funeral,” he added.

Savikataaq clarified that a full-time hunter can take advantage of this coverage program if an injury or a death occurs while hunting. However, the WSCC does not cover the costs for lost harvesting equipment like snowmobiles, boats or ATVs, he said.

Instead there is a specific program for disaster compensation.

“That program is to compensate the hunters and fishermen that have unavoidable accidents and their equipment is damaged or lost while they are out hunting or fishing,” explained Savikataaq.

Anyone who needs more information about the harvester’s compensation program should reach out local conservation officers, informed Savikataaq.