Community and Government Services Minister Lorne Kusugak and Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak reported improvements in Inuit hiring on Monday while addressing the legislative assembly.

Community and Government Services Minister Lorne Kusugak says 36 more Inuit workers are employed in his department than last year. photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

Kusugak said Community and Government Services (CGS) has boosted Inuit workers to 144 from 108 over the past year. This was largely accomplished by appointing 22 Inuit to full-time indeterminate positions instead of casual service agreements, the minister explained.

The department has also committed to 14 intern positions in addition to the two staff already enrolled in the GN Sivuliqtiksat Intern program, Kusugak added.

“I am particularly pleased to note that the positions identified are either specialized positions, supervisory or management positions,” he said.

He also noted that a dedicated Inuit employment and outreach program officer position has been created.

Justice Minister Jeannie Ehaloak says inmates will be invited to work on the new correctional centre over the winter. photo courtesy of the Government of Nunavut

Ehaloak provided an update on the Qikiqtani Correctional Healing Centre, which has been under construction in Iqaluit since March. Inuit employment on the project has reached 24 per cent, exceeding the 20 per cent requirement in the contact, she noted.

Eight men from the Makigiarvik Correctional Centre were brought in to work during the initial stages, Ehaloak said. Inmates will be given the opportunity to get involved during winter construction as well, she added.

“This work experience provides valuable training and skill development, which will help with their reintegration back into their communities once they leave custody,” said Ehaloak. “As these inmates are being paid for their work, this also enables them to help support their families while they are incarcerated.”

The correctional centre is expected to be ready for use in 2022.

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