Skip to content

Kivalliq News editorial: Dentist office a remarkable benefit

Maybe mail needs some entrepreneurship too
Stewart Burnett is editor of Kivalliq News. Photo courtesy of Stewart Burnett

Having a full-time dental clinic in Rankin Inlet is a serious benefit for the town and the Kivalliq as a whole.

As owner Hamza Jafri said, it means residents can focus on prevention instead of treatment. Regular cleanings can prevent extractions and expensive and invasive dental work, and they help identify issues that could turn into bigger problems.

That’s the kind of approach we need everywhere, from mental health to addiction, spousal abuse and so on.

Band-Aids are fine if they’re all we have, but not needing them in the first place is always best.

By all accounts, it appears that Jafri’s business is booming, so the demand for these kind of services is there.

Let’s hope even more entrepreneurs see the opportunity in Nunavut and take advantage of it, to their benefit and ours.

Canada Post woes unsurprising

Now, if only we could open those same entrepreneurship opportunities to mail delivery.

Much commotion has been made online about the woes of Canada Post in Rankin Inlet and the Kivalliq.

Through no fault of the staff – even though they likely bear the brunt of complaints – the post office has not been able to keep up with demand, either due to understaffing, Covid regulations or other bureaucracy.

We can call out for more staffing and resources in Nunavut post offices, but the fact of the matter is Canada Post lost $570 million in 2020, with results not in yet for 2021.

The Crown corporation and legal monopoly is not in a great place and has been consistently cutting back services and raising prices across the country. The organization is mandated to be self-sustaining, without funding from the government.

According to a report by David Akin for Global News last weekend, the government has even been putting out feelers for drastically reducing the post office’s services further.

The office of Filomena Tassi, minister in charge of Canada Post, included questions in a poll from the Privy Council Office that asked if Canadians supported closing rural post offices, ending all home delivery, reducing mail delivery to three times per week, raising postage costs or replacing workers with machines.

Respondents were largely against closing rural post offices, but they did support replacing workers with machines and ending all home delivery.

An even better and long-overdue option may just be to throw the Crown corporation to the wind and let private industry take over. That, or the federal government could fund it and even enhance services, but we just spent far more than we could ever afford during the pandemic and are just beginning to pay for it with inflation.

Obviously, people in the Kivalliq want packages delivered and have the money to order and send them, so the demand is there.

Canada Post can’t meet the demand under its mandate, so let someone else do it properly.