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Delays, extra costs to ship caribou meat create headache for airline customer

Fifty kilograms of caribou meat is on its way to an Inuk woman in Regina nearly two months after it was
mailed to her from Taloyoak, following an inquiry into her situation by Nunavut News.

Susan Pryde of Regina waited weeks for delivery of caribou meat that her son shipped from Taloyoak through Canadian North.
photo courtesy of Canadian North

Susan Pryde, who is from originally from Cambridge Bay but has been living Regina for 20 years, contacted Nunavut News because she was being asked to pay additional fees to receive a large shipment of caribou sent from her son.

Pryde said her son shipped 46 kilograms of freshly caught caribou on Sept. 11 after he went hunting. The package was sent through Canadian North, but it never showed up.

"My son went hunting in Taloyoak like he does all the time and he caught a caribou for me. He paid for shipping and he has the way bill and all the works." said Pryde.

She tired to contact Canadian North numerous time to get the bottom of the situation. She was told by one agent that the meat was sitting in a freezer in Edmonton and that she needs to pay another $300 to have it mailed to her house in Regina.

"It's just sitting in a freezer in Edmonton. I just don't know what to do anymore. Now they want us to pay almost $300. They should do the right thing and send it to me."

Pryde has shared the waybill, which shows her son paid $151.38 to have the meat shipped to Regina,
as well some of her emails to Canadian North with Nunavut News. As requested in one of the emails, she called to try and sort the situation out.

She said an airline agent told her that the reason the meat hadn't been delivered was due to
restrictions related to the pandemic.

Susan Pryde's son Gregory Nahaglulik poses with his catch
in early September just a few days before he tried to send the meat to his mom in Regina. After weeks of delay and a request to pay an additional $300 the meat is finally on its way to Pryde following an inquiry from Nunavut News.
photo courtesy of Susan Pryde

"They said it was due to Covid," she said. "Then I said why did they send it in the first place. You'd think that there is a ban they would refused the order. But instead they took the payment."

According to Pryde, one of the agents she spoke with told her that there were other customers who had also been calling with similar complaints about country food not being delivered.

One day after Nunavut News contacted Canadian North with questions about Pryde's shipment and potential policy changes due to Covid-19, Pryde's son's received a call from a company representative saying the meat would be sent to Taloyoak and his money would be refunded.

The following day, Pryde received a call to let her know the meat was in a freezer truck on its way to her house.

"They were going to reimburse him and send the caribou back. And then today I got call. They called me
and apologized for the mix-up."

In an email to Nunavut News, a representative for the company said they could not speak to specific cases due to privacy reasons. They did not respond to further questions about other clients whose meat has been withheld or any potential policy changes to due to Covid-19.

Although Pryde is frustrated it took so long for Canadian North to come up with a solution, she said she
is looking forward to finally having country food to eat.

"I was getting tired of explaining over and over that this is wrong," she said. "I'm surprised it took this long but I'm really grateful but now we get country food for a long time."