Friday, December 31, 2010

Industrial Inquiry Commission Submits Phase One of Report

The Industrial Inquiry Commission has submitted phase one of their report on the ongoing strike at Voisey’s Bay.

The report was received by the provincial government on December 23.

Phase one of the report addresses items one and six contained in a terms of reference.

The remaining items will be addressed in phase two of the report.

The second phase is to be handed in no later than February 25.

The provincial government approved the submission of the report in two phases in October.

A copy of the report has been given to the United Steelworkers Local 9508 and Vale for review.

The first phase of the report will be made public on January 7.

Dunderdale to Run For Premier

Kathy Dunderdale will be running for the permanent position of Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

She made the announcement at the Confederation Building today.

The election is scheduled for October, 2011.

Dunderdale has been serving as interim Premier since Danny Williams left the post at the beginning of this month.

Ice Knocks-Out Internet and Phone Services

Many Labradorians are left without internet and long-distance phone services over the past couple of days.

Ice buildup on a tower near Happy Valley-Goose Bay has knocked out the service to several locations in Labrador.

The problems began yesterday and continued into today.

Bell Aliant is hoping to have crews clear the built up ice today.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hopedale Funding for Play Ground

The children of Hopedale received an early Christmas present this year.

The provincial government has announced funding to improve the community’s playground.

Wayne Piercy is the AngajukK√Ęk for the Hopedale Inuit Community Government.

He says the Provincial government has announced $15,000 for improvements to the community’s playground.

The funds come through the province’s 2010 Capital Grant Program.

It will be used to install fencing and new equipment.

The playground is located next to the Amos Comenius Memorial School.

Piercy adds they will discuss when to install the new equipment when they have their council meeting in January.

Abel Preliminary Inquiry Decision to be Made Today

The decision of whether or not to proceed with the murder charges against Lucas Abel will be made today.

The decision will be announced in Provincial Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay this afternoon.

Judge John Joy will decide if the matter will go before the Supreme Court of Canada.

He will be making his decision following a four-day preliminary inquiry into the matter.

The inquiry was held in Nain earlier this month.

26-year-old Lucas Abel was charged with first-degree murder in January.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nutrition North Advisory Board Member Talks New Program

The Food Mail Program will be replaced a new program in April.

Nutrition North Canada will be the program responsible for getting perishable foods into northern communities.

Michelle Wood was appointed as the Advisory Board Member for Nutrition North Canada in Labrador.

She says she will be responsible to bring forth any concerns or recommendations on the program from Labrador.

Wood says the new program will create more transparency compared to the Food Mail Program.

She adds that Nutrition North Canada will create more savings for consumers in our region.

Torngat Fishery Update

Nain residents were surprised to see activity taking place at the community’s fish plant recently.

Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative (TFPC) had opened the plant to smoke some char.

Keith Watts is the General Manager for the cooperative.

He says they recently ran out of smoked char in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

They flew 3,000 pounds of char to Nain for smoking.

Watts says all of the char has been smoked.

TFPC is now in the process of shipping the product back to Goose Bay.

Watts says they held their regular pre-Christmas board meeting last week.

Agenda items included this summer’s fishery, plans for next summer and further discussions on forming a single fishing entity.

The board and staff were treated to a supper to celebrate TFPC’s 30th Anniversary.

The cooperative celebrated thirty years of operation on December 4.

Watts adds that he would like to send Christmas greetings and best wishes for a new year to residents of Nunatsiavut and Upper Lake Melville from TFPC’s board and staff.

Stranded Mud Lake Residents Get Help

The residents of Mud Lake are finally getting help after being stranded for almost three weeks.

Dave Raeburn is a resident of the community.

He says due to the mild temperatures the river opened-up and residents weren’t able to get across.

There was too much ice to get across by speedboat and too little ice to make the trip by snowmobile.

Raeburn says a helicopter has been stationed in the community since yesterday.

The provincial government provided the chopper to aid the community’s residents.

He says supplies are being flown in twice a day.

The helicopter is also carrying 5 to 6 passengers to Happy Valley-Goose Bay for Christmas shopping.

Raeburn says students will be flown into the community for the holidays on Friday.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Report Says Northern Communities Lack Basic Attributes to Thrive

A report has been released which details how northern communities often do not have the basic attributes needed to thrive.

The report was released by the Centre for the North.

Derrick Hynes is the Director for the centre.

He says the Centre for the North focuses on research and dialogue around adding insight towards sustainable prosperity across Canada’s North.

One of their reports is titled “Northern Communities Often Lack the Basic Attributes Needed to thrive”.

This report details how many Northern Communities are not thriving.

The report also shows that there are reasons for optimism as we head into the future.

Nain's Community Christmas Tree has Arrived

It’s beginning to feel a little more like Christmas in Nain.

There’s a fresh coat of snow on the ground and the community’s Christmas tree has arrived.

Isabella Pain is a member of the Ulapitsaijet Committee.

The committee was the group who arranged the purchase of the new tree.

Pain says the tree has finally arrived after travelling halfway around the country.

The lighting ceremony is scheduled to take place at 6:30 this evening.

The ceremony will take place at the Nunatsiavut Government office where the 20-foot artificial tree has been erected.

The Nain Moravian Church Choir will be on hand to help with ceremonies.

Paine says they are also hoping to get the JHMS school band involved as well.

She says you can be sure to expect the singing of Napatule during the ceremony.

Nain residents are also invited to stick around after the ceremony for Timbits and hot chocolate.

Makkovik runs out of Cigarettes

There are a lot of Makkovik residents on edge the past few days.

The community has been without cigarettes since Friday.

An order was placed for the tobacco products by Labrador Investments about a week ago.

They haven’t seen any of the cigarettes yet.

Calls have been coming in to Labrador Investments from residents wondering when the cigarettes will be arriving.

A store clerk tells us that people seem to be coping well while they wait for their nicotine fix.

Nain Residents Gets View of Rare Eclipse

A very rare event took place in the skies early this morning.

Residents of the northern hemisphere were able to view a lunar eclipse if weather conditions allowed.

But this wasn’t just any lunar eclipse.

For the first time in 372 years the eclipse fell on the winter solstice.

The winter solstice is the first day of winter and also the shortest day of the year.

Beni Merkeratsuk of Nain was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the rare occasion.

She says she viewed the eclipse shortly after 5a.m.

Merkeratsuk says the clouds sometimes blocked her view of the eclipse during the 15-20 minutes that she viewed it.

She says nearly half of the moon turned red during the phenomenon.

Merkeratsuk adds this was her first time witnessing a lunar eclipse.

Monday, December 20, 2010

LFC Director Talks Turkeys

The turkeys are rolling into the Labrador Friendship Centre (LFC) in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

The turkeys are collected as part of their annual Turkey Drive.

Stan Oliver is the Executive Director for the centre.

He says the LFC organizes the drive in cooperation with the Ministerial Association of Upper Lake Melville, the Roland Sears Hamper Fund and CBC.

Oliver says they received about 300 turkeys so far.

They also received around $3,000 in cash which will go toward the centre’s food bank.

Things Looking Up for LIDC

Things are starting to look up for the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation (LIDC).

Chris Webb is the Assistant General Manager for LIDC.

He says in light of all the challenges the LIDC has faced in the 2010 season, a corner has been turned.

Webb says despite some major decisions to suspend some major operations, it has been a busy year for the LIDC.

The LIDC is currently undergoing corporate restructuring and a governance review.

He says operations for their core businesses have been successful.

They include the base camp at the Torngat Mountains National Park, Postmill Lumber and their tugs and barges operations.

Webb says each of these operations are well positioned and moving forward.

He says the management team is continuing to draft the budget and business plan for 2011/2012.

The plan will assess the viability of the operations at the Ten Mile Bay Quarry and Hopedale Stone Plant.

Duplexes for Nain and Makkovik Nearing Completion

Residents of Nunatsiavut know all too well how hard it is to find a place to rent.

Well the chances of finding a place will be increased with the construction of two duplexes in Nain and Makkovik.

William Lucy is the coordinator for the Torngat Regional Housing Association.

He says crews are still busy constructing the duplexes in both communities.

Lucy says both duplexes will not be completed until after the holiday season.

He anticipates the work to continue into the new year.

Nain Craft Sale a Success

Participants of the Nain Inuit Community Government’s (NICG) community enhancement program sold some of their work through a craft sale.

Gina Dicker is the Office Administrator for the NICG.

She says the sale was held on Friday.

Items for sale included push boxes, toy boxes, gun racks, kamiks, church caps and Kamutiks.

She says they raised $595 through the sale.

The funds raised will be used to buy more materials.

Dicker adds they still have more items for sale.

They can be viewed at the old fire hall.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Nain Church Update

For the first time in its history, the Moravian Church in Nain will not be holding their Candle Services at the Church.

This year the Candle Services will have to be held at the Jens Haven Memorial School Gym.

Gordon Obed Sr. is with the Moravian Church in Nain.

He says the church leaders received a letter this morning prompting them to not use the church for the Candle Service this year.

Engineers are recommending the church not be used for any large gathering of people.

In fact, it is recommended that occupancy be kept to a minimum.

It has also been recommended that no one be in the church if there is snow on the roof.

Obed adds the church leaders have decided to use the school instead of cancelling the Candle Services altogether.

But they won’t be able to light the candles for the service.

Torngat Park Open House

The Torngat Mountains National Park (TMNP) celebrated its fifth anniversary on December 1.

An open house is taking place at the Parks Canada office in Nain today to mark the milestone.

Gary Baikie is the Visitor Experience Manager for Parks Canada.

He says there will be displays of photographs of the park for people to view.

There will also be information on visitors of the park.

Baikie says everyone can pay a visit to their office from 1:30-4pm.

He adds their new office is located on the lower floor of the former Nunatsiavut Government building.

Students Weather-bound in Goose Bay

Christmas is just around the corner and many students are on their way home.

Unfortunately the weather is causing a delay for some students.

Abigail Webb is a post-secondary student trying to make it to Nain for the holidays.

But right now she’s stranded at the Goose Bay airport.

She says she’s been there since 6:30 this morning.

She says she hopes this year won’t be a repeat of the last one.

The weather conditions stranded Webb at the Goose Bay airport for six days last year.

Some lucky Postville students were the only ones to make it home today as of 1pm.

And looking at the forecast, the students may be in Goose Bay for a while.

Santa Claus is coming to Town

Santa Claus will give his reindeer a bit of a rest and visit some Nunatsiavut communities by plane.

Debbie Brandt is the Executive Assistant for Air Labrador.

She says Santa will be leaving Goose-Bay for the north coast tomorrow.

Mr. Claus will be going to three communities this year.

He’ll be arriving in Hopedale at 10:30am and then on to Makkovik at 11:30am.

Santa’s last stop will be in Postville at noon.

Hopefully the conditions will improve for Santa's visit.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lab West Unions Donate to Voisey's Bay Strikers

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Labrador West.

Several unions and locals from the area have come together to make this a happy holiday season for members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9508.

George Kean is President of the USW Local 5795 in Labrador West.

He says unions from all over the region came together with the communities to make contributions the Local 9508 members and their families.

Kean says he sympathizes with the members who are spending their second Christmas on the picket line.

Elections on the North Coast

The councilors have been decided for the Inuit Community Governments (ICG) throughout Nunatsiavut.

Elections took place yesterday.

Beverly Hunter, Philip Abel, Darlene Nochasak, Martha Winters-Abel, Elizabeth Tuglavina and Mel Hurley will serve on the Hopedale ICG.

The new councilors will be sworn in this evening.

70 people came out and cast their vote for the councilors in Postville.

Mary Edmunds, Violet Flowers, Jaimie Jacque, Ruth Jacque, Sheila Priddle and Winston Sheppard join the Postville ICG.

These new councilors will be sworn in within the next two weeks.

120 people came out to vote in Makkovik.

Elizabeth Evans- Mitchell, Tony Andersen, Bernie Andersen, Randy Edmunds, Cyril Lane, Rory McNeil and Dion Rideout make up Makkovik’s ICG.

The newly-elected councilors will be sworn in Monday.

124 people came out and cast their vote in Rigolet.

Paula Flowers, Sandy Michelin, Max Pottle, Richard Rich, Elsie Wolfrey and Tony Wolfrey SR.are the new Rigolet ICG councilors.

Four of the new councilors were sworn in last evening.

Slippery Roads Causes JHMS to Close Doors

The unseasonably warm temperatures have been a cause of grief for drivers and pedestrians along the coast.

Most people in Nain would have been better off lacing up their skates for work this morning.

The icy roads have caused the Jens Haven Memorial School to close its doors for the afternoon.

Juanita Skanes is the Vice-Principal.

She says they decided to close their doors until the roads are safe enough for the students to make the commute.

The Nain Inuit Community Government has been at work all morning laying gravel on the roads.

Nain Residents Face Tax Increase

Nain residents will be paying a little more for certain taxes in 2011.

The Nain Inuit Community Government (ICG) has increased poll taxes and water and sewage taxes.

Nain residents will pay $90 for their poll tax in 2011.

That’s a $10 increase from 2010.

The water and sewage tax will increase by $25 in 2011.

Nain residents will now pay $150.

Businesses are facing tax increases as well.

The business tax rate will be set at 0.7 percent.

That’s a 0.025 percent increase from last year’s rate.

The minimum business tax has also been increased from $200 to $250.

The garbage disposal fee has also been increased.

Businesses will pay $1,060 compared to 2010’s $1,050.

The dump usage fee will remain the same in 2011.

The new tax rates come into effect January 1, 2011.

Makkovik’s taxes will remain the same for the 2011 fiscal year.

The Rigolet and Hopedale ICGs will discuss their tax rates at a later date.

The Postville Inuit Community Government is recommending a few tax increases.

The increases need approval from their newly-elected council.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Researcher Discusses Seal Pup Births

Reports have been coming in from residents all over Nunatsiavut in recent weeks claiming to have spotted harp seal pups being born.

We contacted a researcher today to discuss the sightings.

Gary Stenson is a Researcher with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

He says that if they are in fact harp seal pups, it is highly unusual.

Harp seals usually give birth in late February or early May.

Stenson says that it’s also unusual to spot harp seal pups north of the Groswater Bay area.

He says that there may be some confusion between harp seal and gray seal pups.

The pups of those seals are similar in appearance.

He says although gray seals are not common in northern Labrador, they have been spotted as far north as Nain.

Nain Fish Plant Back in Production

The Nain fish plant has gone back into production smoking char.

Keith Watts is the General Manager with the Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative (TFPC).

“We’ve run out of smoked fillets for sale at the office right now and we’ve sold more up to this point then we sold all last year in smoked char in the office. For some reason sales are up, which we’re not complaining about. We needed more smoked char so we flew back some head-on, gutted char for Nain plant to smoke for us so that would get us through rest of the year.”

About 3, 000 pounds of Char has been flown into Nain for smoking.

Watts says they’re expecting a return of about 1500 to 1700 pounds of finished product.

“We’ve looked at the numbers. It helps us in order to have smoked char available and we don’t like to not have it because it’s probably the product that most people look for. It is costly to fly it up and bring it back, but still it’s better in the long run to have it.”
Watts says that it is fortunate the weather has been so mild.

In colder temperatures they may not have been able to open the plant.

The smoked char will be available for sale at the TFPC Happy Valley-Goose Bay office.

The TFPC board is currently gathered in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for meetings.

Watts says included in the agenda is an overview of TFPC’s yearly operations.

Also on the agenda is the creation of a single fishing entity.

Watts says there will be officials from the Nunatsiavut Government present to discuss the status of the project.

Seven Dead Harp Seals Washed Up Near Hopedale

Seven dead harp seals were found washed-up on shore outside of Hopedale.

Joseph Townley is the Conservation Officer for Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

He says the seal carcasses were found at Black Head, near Hopedale.

Hopedale’s conservation officer travelled to the location to get pictures of the seals.

The officers aren’t sure of the reason for the dead seals.

Townley says that the Hopedale Conservation Officer will attempt to travel back to the location to collect samples.

He will do so if the weather conditions allow.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Torngat Housing Update

It’s an especially happy holiday season for some families along the north coast.

Construction has been completed on a number of the Torngat Regional Housing Association’s houses.

The completion allows some families to spend Christmas in their new home.

William Lucy is Torngat Regional Housing Association’s (TRHA) Coordinator.

He says from the five new units in Nain, two families are now occupying their new homes.

One more family will be moving in very soon.

The two other families should be moved into their new home by the weekend.

Lucy says two homes were turned back over to TRHA and brought up to standard.

One of the homes has already been turned over to a new family.

The keys for the other house will be delivered in about a week’s time.

Lucy says one family is moved into their new home in Hopedale.

There are five houses being constructed or renovated in the community.

Another family has moved into a home that has received a complete renovation.

Another new house is just about complete in the community.

He says three of the new units will be completed after the holiday season.

Two new homes should be completed by the end of this week in Makkovik.

Lucy says one unit in Postville is about 90% complete.

It will be ready for occupancy before Christmas.

There are two new units being constructed in Rigolet.

One of the homes will be ready for the lucky family before Christmas.

Unfortunately, the other home will only be completed after the holiday season.

Lucy adds that overall the construction itself is going well.

He anticipates that some of the crews will be working well into January, and possibly into February.

JHMS Huskies Claim Third Spot at Provincials

The Jens Haven Memorial Huskies claimed third place at the 2A Volleyball Provincial Competition this past weekend.

Damien Barter is the Coach of the Huskies.

He says the boys finished third overall out of the 10 teams that participated from across the province.

The Huskies entered the finals following two straight wins against Burnt Island’s Grandy’s River Collegiate.

The Huskies were undefeated with eight wins entering the finals.

Their standing put them first in their division.

The Huskies faced off against the Wildcats from Flowers Cove’s Canon Richards Memorial Academy.

The Huskies won the first game against the wildcats.

But the wildcats came back with two straight wins putting the Huskies out of the competition.

Barter adds that he would like to commend the boys for their games well played.

He adds they showed great sportsmanship and should be very proud of themselves.

Nain Gets More Monies for Makework

The Nain Inuit Community Government’s (NICG) community enhancement program has been expanded with additional funds from the province.

Dasi Ikkusek is the town manager.

She says the additional funding is a big help for people in need of more hours to qualify for their employment insurance benefits for the winter.

Ikkusek says they have 13 people hired through the program.

Some of the male workers have repaired existing garbage boxes and constructed new boxes for the town.

Ikkusek says the male workers are also making Kamotiks and children’s Kamotik push boxes at the old fire hall.

She says one worker is making crafts such as church caps, skin boots and moccasins.

Some of the participants are also doing inventory at the NICG office.

Ikkusek says the enhancement program will continue late into the winter.

Nain Seniors Treated to Christmas Haircuts

Nain Seniors are looking sharp for the holiday season.

They were treated to haircuts over the weekend in recognition of the holiday season.

Cathy Prince cut the seniors hair.

She says she thought that it would be a nice thing to do for the community’s Seniors.

The haircuts were given out on December the 11 and 12 at the community hall.

Approximately 25-35 seniors showed up for a trim.

Possible Problems with Nain Recycling Program

The organizers of the recycling program in Nain are anticipating some potential problems.

Jacob Larkin is the Principal of Jens Haven Memorial.

He says the community may run into some problems with storing the recyclables.

In previous years there would be from seven to ten containers used to store the recyclable materials.

This year the community is only left with two containers.

Larkin says they are looking into some other storage options now.

The organizers will continue to accept donated recyclables for the school’s breakfast program.

Larkin adds that they will examine the possibility of holding the next recycling session when the time comes.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Beneficiary Calling for NG Auditor General

A Nunatsiavut beneficiary is calling on the Nunatsiavut Government to create an independent Auditor General position.

Matthew Pike lives in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

He was an Ordinary Member candidate for Upper Lake Melville in the May election.

Pike is circulating a petition calling on the Nunatsiavut Government to create an independent Auditor General.

Pike says he believes the position should be created to address concerns that beneficiaries have over the financial state of the government.

The Nunatsiavut Government responded to Matthew Pikes call for an Auditor General in a press release on Friday.

Minister of Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology, Danny Pottle, says the Nunatsiavut Government has no plans to appoint an Auditor General.

He says given the size of the government, it is not necessary to have such a position.

Minister Pottle says they do have an independent external auditor in place.

He adds that “there are enough checks and balances in place to ensure that the

Nunatsiavut Government is transparent and accountable”.

Renovations Taking Place to Postville Boardwalk and Bridge

Crews in Postville are performing renovations to the community’s boardwalk and the bridge on Brinex Road.

Diane Gear is the AngajukKak for the Postville Inuit Community Government.

She says they’ve hired two crews to carry out the work.

Crews went to work this morning.

Gear says they have three people renovating the Brinex Road Bridge.

The project is expected to last two weeks.

Four people are repairing the community’s boardwalk.

That project is expected to last four weeks.

Gear says they acquired the funds for the work from the Nunatsiavut Government’s Economic Development division.

Nain Community Tree

It’s starting to feel a lot like Christmas with the snow falling outside.

Nain residents are waiting for one more event to kick-off the holiday season.

The Christmas tree lighting still hasn’t taken place.

Dasi Ikkusek is the Town Manager for the Nain Inuit Community Government (NICG).

She says they are still waiting for the tree to arrive.

The NICG has decided to go with an artificial tree this year.

The tree will replace the skirt of Christmas lights hung from a pole that has been used in previous years.

She says the recreation department staff will work with some of the enhancement program workers erect and decorate the tree when it arrives.

The NICG still hasn’t decided on a location for the tree.

The council members will discuss the location during their regular meeting tomorrow night.

Communities Preparing for Christmas Hampers

It’s that time of year again.

Communities along coast are getting ready to distribute their Christmas hampers.

We spoke to the different groups in each of the communities that are organizing the hampers.

Elsie Diamond is helping organize the hampers in Nain.

She says things are going well.

The hampers will be distributed on the December 22.

There are about 150 hampers that will be distributed to families in Nain.

She says the hampers are made possible through donations from the different organizations in the community.

The Moravian church in Hopedale is organizing the hampers in their community.

Their hampers are made possible through donations from the local stores.

So far they have put together about 68 hampers.

The hampers will be distributed from December 20-21.

The community of Postville takes a different approach to the hampers.

They distribute gift certificates in place of hampers.

The Postville Inuit Community Government is organizing the effort in that community.

They hope to have the certificates distributed by December 20.

There are at least 30 gift certificates to be given out.

Makkovik also chooses to use gift certificates in place of hampers.

Carol Gear is helping organize the distribution of the gift certificates.

She says they will distribute the gift certificates from December 21-22.

They have between 50-60 certificates to hand out.

The Anglican Church is organizing the distribution of food vouchers in Rigolet.

They will distribute the vouchers December 20.

They are expecting to hand out approximately 20 food vouchers.

A number of churches are organizing the hampers for Upper Lake Melville.

They will distribute the hampers from December 20-22.

They still don’t have a figure of how many hampers will be distributed.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Labrador MP Wants Your Thoughts on Lower Churchill Development

The Member of Parliament for Labrador, Todd Russell, wants to know how you feel about the Lower Churchill Development project.

The Province of Newfoundland and Labrador and Amera, a Nova Scotia power company, announced plans to develop the project last month.

They plan to build a massive generating station at Muskrat Falls with transmission lines running through Labrador, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia.

This has brought mixed feeling to the people of Labrador.

The concerns have prompted the Member of Parliament to begin circulating a survey.

Russell would like to learn the opinions of Labrador residents on the development.

He’s asking that all Labradorians take part in the survey.

The survey is avaialable on MP Russell's website.

Industrial Inquiry Commission Granted an Extension

The Voisey’s Bay Industrial Inquiry Commission has received an extension for the completion of their report.

The date set out for the finish of the inquiry was originally December 23.

The commission’s report was due on that date.

The report will address seven different items contained in a terms of reference.

John F. Roil, Chair of the inquiry, requested the extension on November 30.

Roil feels more time is needed to address the items contained in the terms of reference.

Joan Burke, Acting Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment, has approved the extension.

The report will now be submitted in two phases.

The first phase of the report is due on the original due date: December 23.

This phase will address two of the items in the terms of reference.

The second phase is due no later than February 25, 2011.

This phase will address the remaining items.

Burke hopes the commission will view the extension as a last resort.

She hopes the reports will be submitted before the extended deadline.

The strike at the Voisey’s Bay site is now over 15 months long.

MICG Proposes Location for New Youth Centre

The Makkovik Inuit Community Government (MICG) is proposing a location to the community for a new youth centre.

Herb Jacque is the AngajukKak.

He says they discussed the proposed location during a meeting of the MICG on Wednesday night.

The selected location for the facility is near the JC Erhardt Memorial School.

Jacque says the design for the centre has already been drafted.

The MICG will be inviting the public to submit comments on the proposed location.

The youth centre will house a multi-purpose room, work-out room, offices and a kitchen.

The MICG is hoping to begin construction this summer.

Jacque says he would like to take this opportunity to thank the outgoing ICG councilors for their contribution over the past four years.

A new council will be chosen through the December 15 election.

A total of nine candidates are running for the seven available seats.

The new council will be sworn in on December 17.

Huskies Undefeated So Far

The Jens Haven Memorial Huskies remain undefeated so far at the 2A Boys Provincial Volleyball Tournament.

Damien Barter is the Coach of Huskies.

He says the boys defeated the host team, The Cloud River Academy Wolverines, two games in a row last evening.

The Wolverines were last year’s 3A Volleyball Champions.

The Huskies luck continued with another two wins this morning against La Scie’s Cape John Collegiate Cobras.

Barter says their next match is this afternoon against Hermitage’s John Watkins Academy’s Rebels.

There are ten teams from across the province participating in the tournament.

The competitions wrap-up tomorrow afternoon with the championship game.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nain Native Contributes to "Movember" Fundraiser

A Nain native is being recognized for his generous efforts towards a great cause.

Constable Justin Lyall singlehandedly raised over a $1, 000 for prostate cancer research.

That’s a third of the $3, 000 total that was raised through “Movember” in Lyall's district.

Constable Ian Kaulback is stationed at the RCMP Detachment in Twillingate.

He says RCMP members from across the country refrained from shaving their mustaches in recognition of “Movember”.

Ten RCMP members from seven different detachments in their district participated.

Cst. Kaulback says a special thanks goes to Constable Justin Lyall, who is stationed in Gander, for his generous efforts.

More Seal Pup Sightings

More seal pups have been sighted outside of a Nunatsiavut Community.

We previously reported that seal pups were spotted near Makkovik and Postville.

This time the sighting was made outside of Rigolet.

Derrick Pottle says he spotted a couple of harp seal pups in the Black Bay area.

Pottle sighted the young seals this past weekend while hunting with his son.

Smith Snacks Sandwiches Recalled

There is a recall in place on several sandwiches manufactured by Smith Snacks.

Smith Snacks are found at retailers all throughout the province, including Labrador.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) put the recall in place after it was discovered that the snacks may contain processed cheese contaminated with Lysteria monocytogenes.

The recall is in place on a variety of the sandwiches produced by Smith Snacks.

The sandwiches have expiry dates ranging from December 27, 2010, to January 4, 2011.

For a complete list of the possibly contaminated products, you can visit the CFIA’s website.

JHMS Huskies Headed out for Volleyball Provincials

The Jens Haven Memorial Huskies are on their way to the 2A Boys Provincial Volleyball Tournament in Roddickton, Newfoundland.

Rhonda Martin is the Physical Education Teacher at Cloud River Academy.

She says 10 teams from across the province are coming together for the competition.

The competitions kick off with the opening ceremonies this afternoon.

A familiar face from Nain will be on hand to help open the ceremonies.

10-year-old Henry Mesher will be lending his voice to the opening ceremonies with a song.

Henry has graced OKalaKatiget Radio with his vocal abilities in the past.

There will be a lot of familiar faces there to cheer on the Nain Huskies.

They have signs constructed and are ready to cheer on the Nain athletes.

The competitions will be taking place all throughout the weekend.

The matches kick off with the Jens Haven Huskies facing the host team, Cloud River Academy’s Timberwolves, this evening.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Warm Weather isn't Worrying Cain's Quest Organizers

The unseasonably warm temperatures aren’t worrying the organizers of Cain’s Quest.

Todd Kent is a Co-Chairperson for the snowmobile endurance race.

He says the weather isn’t a cause for concern this early in the season.

Cain’s Quest was cancelled last year due to the conditions of the warm temperatures and ice.

The snowmobile race will bring the competitors right up the north coast of Labrador for the first time this year.

Also new this year is the ladies edition of the quest.

Kent says they still need 10 more teams for the ladies competition to go ahead.

Only two teams have registered so far.

The deadline to register for the ladies edition is December 15.

Nain X-Ray Clinic a Huge Success

The x-ray clinic that was held in Nain last month is being considered a tremendous success.

Gail Turner is the Director of Health Services with the Nunatsiavut Government.

She says the x-ray clinic was held for Nain residents who had been in contact with Tuberculosis (TB) since 2002.

This was the first time anything like this was attempted on the north coast.

A total of 163 people showed up to get their x-rays taken.

That’s 96% of the people who had appointments.

Turner says she is also happy with the quality of the x-rays that were taken.

She says the equipment that was used is still in Nain.

It can be used for follow-up exams in the future, if needed.

There are no follow-up clinics scheduled as of yet.

She says bringing the x-ray equipment to Nain was a big help for the patients.

Many were unable to take the time off of work to travel to Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Turner says the clinic was made possible with funds from Labrador-Grenfell Health, The Nunatsiavut Department of Health, Health Canada and the provincial government.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Elder's Gather for Christmas Dinner

Elders kicked off the holiday season in Happy Valley-Goose Bay over the weekend.

Nunatsiavut Government’s Department of Health and Social Development held an Elder’s Christmas Dinner on Friday.

Vyann Andersen is the Team Leader for the Department of Health and Social Development in Goose Bay.

She says the event was held in partnership with the Labrador Friendship Centre.

Around 250 elders attended the dinner at the Royal Canadian Legion.

Santa Clause also stopped by with gifts for each of the attendees.

She says entertainment was provided by the Moravian Choir, Gary and Jennifer
Mitchell as well as Mike and Eric Mitsuk.

Andersen adds she would like to thank everyone who made this evening such a success.

Bell Aliant Not Offering New Internet Accounts on North Coast Either

The effects of the limited bandwidth in Happy Valley-Goose Bay are being felt in Nunatsiavut as well.

A spokesperson for Bell Aliant says they aren’t accepting new accounts from communities on the north coast either.

Bell Aliant is currently working on an interim solution for the problem.

They hope to have something in place in the next couple of weeks.

Bell Aliant will be monitoring the interim solution and will decide from there what needs to be done next.

Communities Reporting Seal Pup Births

Nunatsiavut residents are reporting the birth of seal pups outside of Nunatsiavut communities.

Joseph Townley is the Conservation Officer in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

He says reports have been coming in from Postville and Makkovik claiming sightings of white coats.

This is concerning news considering the fact that seals give birth to their young in the spring.

Townley says a resident of Makkovik claims to have spotted the seal pups near seal cove point.

The resident claims the seals were found on sheet ice caught along the shore.

The Conservation Officer in Makkovik headed to the location to conduct an investigation.

When he arrived the ice had already moved out from the location.

The Nunatsiavut Government is calling on the help of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to assist in the investigation.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Abel Preliminary Inquiry Decision to be made Later this Month

The decision of whether or not to proceed with the murder charges against Lucas Abel will be made later this month.

Lisa Winters is a Clerk for the Provincial Court in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

She says the decision will be announced by Judge John Joy on December 23, in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

At that time, Joy will decide if the matter will go before the Supreme Court of Canada.

He will be making his decision following a four-day preliminary inquiry into the matter.

The inquiry was held in Nain last week.

26-year-old Lucas Abel was charged with first-degree murder in January.

JHMS Lunch Program Gathering Students

The new lunch program launched at the Jens Haven Memorial School in Nain is gathering more and more students.

The program was launched last Monday.

Jacob Larkin is the Principal.

He says more students have been staying through the lunch hour each day.

Grades k-3 students who live over 0.8km away from the school are invited to stay in the school for lunch.

The option is given to avoid the lengthy walks made by the young students during the cold winter months.

Larkin adds that this is a pilot project and they hope to offer the option to more students in the future.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Gander Meteorologist

Here we are above the zero degree mark with no snow on December 3.

This has a lot of residents fearing a similar winter to last year’s mild season.

Herb Thoms is a Meteorologist with Environment Canada in Gander.

He says Labradorians can expect the warm weather for a little while longer.

A high pressure system lingering over the province is the cause of the mild temperatures.

Thoms is expecting a low pressure system to move in soon.

And with the system comes cooler temperatures.

Thoms adds that looking at the seasonal forecast for the months of December, January and February, we can expect above normal temperatures for Newfoundland and Labrador.

Lower amounts of snow are also being predicted.

Dunderdale Sworn in as First Female NL Premier

Today is a day that will go down in the Newfoundland and Labrador history books.

Kathy Dunderdale has been sworn in as the first female Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador.

She was sworn into office in St. John’s this morning.

The former Deputy Premier assumes the role left vacant by Danny Williams.

Williams announced his resignation just two weeks ago.

Dunderdale is the tenth Premier in Newfoundland and Labrador’s history.

Abel Preliminary Inquiry Complete

The preliminary inquiry into the murder charges against Lucas Abel was completed yesterday.

The four-day inquiry began on Monday.

The inquiry determines if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

A publication ban was placed on the inquiry.

The ban restricts any information from the proceeding being published in the media.

26-year-old Lucas Abel was charged with first-degree murder in January.

A Shortage of Hardtack

The effects of the ongoing strike at Purity Factories are hitting Labrador hard.

Many of the products manufactured by Purity are considered staples in the diet of many Labradorians.

Steve Schultz is the buyer for Labrador Investments on the north coast of Labrador.

Schultz is currently in Nain assisting with operations until a new manager is hired.

He says they’ve been receiving calls from people all over Labrador searching for Purity Hard Bread.

Nain is now the only community in Nunatsiavut and the Upper Lake Melville that has the fish-n-brews necessity.

There have even been calls from people in Cartwright searching for Purity hard bread.

But the community’s stock of hardtack is nearly out.

Another Purity product found on the tables of many Labradorians is Cream Crackers.

Schultz assures everybody that they have enough of the product in stock in each of their stores to make it through the winter.

Purity Factories employees have been on strike since early-September.

Parks Canada Update

The names of places within the Torngat Mountains National Park will be up for discussion in Nain next week.

Judy Rowell is the Superintendent for Torngat Mountains National Park.

She says people from Nunavik and Nunatsiavut will be getting together for the discussion.

They’re hoping to agree upon common names for locations with two or more names.

Inuit in Nunavik have different names for the locations than Labrador Inuit.

The meetings are scheduled to begin on Monday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nunatsiavut First Minister Discusses Lower Churchill

The Nunatsiavut Government wants to ensure that the Lower Churchill development will provide long-term benefits to Labrador Inuit with minimal impacts to the environment.

Darryl Shiwak is the First Minister.

He says the Nunatsiavut Government is neither endorsing nor opposing the project.

Shiwak says the Nunatsiavut government’s main concern lies in the protection of the environment.

While still providing benefits to Labrador Inuit.

The First Minister says those benefits should include lower electricity rates in Nunatsiavut communities.

He says Nunatsiavut residents pay some of the highest energy rates in the province.

Shiwak fears that the existing diesel generators will not be able to accommodate the future energy needs of the communities.

Some of the communities have already been facing problems keeping up with energy demands.

ULM Beneficiaries Wonder Where Their Celebration Was

While beneficiaries in the Nunatsiavut communities gathered yesterday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the creation of Nunatsiavut, many Upper Lake Melville beneficiaries wondered where their festivities were being held.

Some of the beneficiaries were disappointed to find out that nothing was planned to mark the occasion in the region.

Nunatsiavut Government Director of Communications, Burt Pomeroy, says it had to do with money.

He says this was the first time Nunatsiavut communities held as many events to mark the occasion.

The Nunatsiavut Government had not allocated any monies in their budget for the celebrations.

He says the celebrations in the Nunatsiavut communities were organized through their community liaison officers.

Pomeroy ensures the beneficiaries that something will be organized to mark the occasion in ULM next year.

Air Inuit Announces Christmas Flights

The holiday season is a time to gather with friends and family.

Many Labrador Inuit have family and friends in Nunavik.

Air Inuit will be offering special flights again this year to bring those families together for the holidays.

Air Inuit will have three flights between Nunavik and Nain over the holiday season.

The first flight will be on December 23.

The flight will depart from kuujuak that morning and arrive in Nain just before noon.

There will also be additional flights on December 30 and January 4.