For the annual NWT & Nunavut Mining feature that recently appeared in Nunavut News, we approached MLAs for their perspective on the mining industry in the territory. These were the responses from Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak. The full edition of NWT & Nunavut Mining can be found here: https://nnsl.com/special-feature-publications/nwt-nunavut-mining-2019/
Q: What do you consider to be the greatest advantages and disadvantages of mining in the Nunavut?
A: The advantage for mining in Nunavut is that people are employed and are able to bring back income for themselves or the communities. The disadvantage is that sometimes income they earn can be used irresponsibly, like for substance abuse.
Q: Do you believe the mines do enough overall for the territory in terms of employment, royalties, donations and legacy projects?
A: It’s just too bad that mines only bring employment to select communities. Not all of Nunavutmiut take advantage or are given a chance to work in the mines. The mines seem to select communities close to where they are mining. As for donations, not all Nunavut communities are given that chance to receive. Same goes for legacy projects.
Q: Should mines be involved in supplying housing in surrounding communities?
A: I really like the idea of giving housing to surrounding communities but only surrounding communities will benefit – this should include the smaller and forgotten communities.