Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Plaque Replaced at Hebron

Former Hebronimuit gathered with government representatives at Hebron earlier this month for the unveiling of a replacement plaque.

The Minister of Environment and responsible for Parks Canada, Jim Prentice, joined Nunatsiavut Government representatives for the unveiling on August 24.

The plaque designates the former mission building at Hebron as a national historic site.

The site was designated a national historic site in 1970 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board.

The plaque was replaced because the earlier version had stated that Inuit had abandoned Hebron.

Following the unveiling, Minister Prentice spent time with the former Hebronimuit listening to their stories of life in Hebron.

Day Care Centres Opening

Daycare Centers on the north coast will be back in operation next week.

Jenny Lyall is the Program Developer for Child Development for the Nunatsiavut Government.

She says the Pigutsavik center in Nain closed when the building flooded this spring.

The building suffered water damage from the flood.

Since then the floor and walls have been renovated and the center is ready to continue operations again.

The daycare staff went back to work yesterday, preparing for registration this week.

The Ajagutak center staff in Hopedale went back to work yesterday as well.

They are taking part in First Aid Training before programming starts.

She adds that the other two daycares in the communities of Postville and Makkovik will be operating without a license.

They are working on obtaining a license for the daycares in those communities.

Gearing Up for Cain's Quest

Things are getting into gear now for the much-anticipated Cain’s Quest.

The advertising campaign has just been launched for this year’s event.

And organizers are promising that this will be the biggest year yet.

And for the first time, the route of Cain’s Quest will be taking the racers through Hopedale, Natuashish and Nain.

The 2500km journey will take the racers from Labrador City, east to Happy Valley-Goose Bay, north to Nain and back to Labrador city.

New this year is the Ladies Edition.

Although females are able to participate in the main event, a separate race has been created to encourage more female involvement.

Labradorians have been anticipating this race for quite some time.

Last year’s Cain’s Quest was cancelled due to poor weather and ice conditions.

Organizers are confident in this winter’s race and believe that last year’s situation was simply a freak of nature.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Delay in Assembly Building Construction

Problems with shipping have caused a delay in the construction of the Nunatsiavut Government assembly building in Hopedale.

Bert Pomeroy is the Director of Communications for the Nunatsiavut Government.

He says the delay was caused because of construction materials held up in Goose Bay and Lewisporte.

The project has fallen behind schedule about three-four weeks.

Pomeroy says the contractor, Colby Construction, has increased its workforce to get the construction back on schedule.

To date, the concrete work has been completed on the assembly building.

The building will house the Nunatsiavut Government house of assembly and some offices.

The site of the assembly building is just down the hill from the Amos Comenius Memorial School.

The anticipated completion date for the project is still March, 2011.

Canadian Coast Guard Constructing Tower on Nain Hill

Nain residents may have noticed construction taking place on the top of Nain hill.

The Canadian Coast Guard is having a tower constructed to improve radio coverage in the area.

Dan Pike is the Superintendant of Maritime and Civil Infrastructure with the Canadian Coast Guard.

He says the coast guard has been using space on a tower owned by Aliant for radio transmission.

The new tower will allow for the Coast Guard to offer the best possible coverage for its radio transmission.

Currently, there is poor reception in some of the areas around Nain.

The increased coverage will assist the coast guard in its mandate to ensure the safety of life at sea, the protection of the environment and ensuring the safe passage of vessels.

Pike says a trailer will be constructed alongside the tower for their use.

The project is valued at around $1.5 million.

TRHA Construction Underway Again

The construction season for the Torngat Regional Housing Association (TRHA) is back in full swing with the arrival of new building materials.

William Lucy is the Coordinator of TRHA.

He says they were waiting for materials to arrive for quite a while.

The materials arrived recently allowing TRHA to resume construction in Nunatsiavut communities.

That is with the exception of Makkovik where they are waiting for land approval.

Lucy says in Nain, one new home is up and shelled with three more under construction.

In Hopedale, there is also one home up and three others under construction.

Postville crews have just started work on the footings for one home in that community.

And construction has also started on the one home allocated to Rigolet.

Lucy says TRHA is still waiting on more building supplies and materials to arrive in each of the communities.

Nain Church Receives Snowmobile

The Moravian Church in Nain received a snowmobile for its use earlier this month.

The snowmobile was acquired through the fundraising efforts of a former Nain resident.

Colleen Uvloriak spearheaded the fundraising efforts.

She says that when her brother passed away there was no transportation available to take the coffin from the church to the graveyard.

This prompted Uvloriak to begin acquiring funds to get a snowmobile for the church so this doesn’t happen to anybody else.

Uvloriak and others in Goose Bay went to businesses and raised $1,100 for the snowmobile.

She says the snowmobile is also for the use of community elders to get to and from the church.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Drug Seizure in Goose Bay

A grow-op in Happy Valley-Goose Bay has been seized.

According to an RCMP press release, the Labrador District RCMP Street Level Drug Enforcement Team seized a quantity of Marijuana plants on August 25th.

Acting on a tip from the public, the police located the plants behind a residence in the town.

The plants were in various stages of development.

The matter is still under investigation and charges are pending.

Igliolorte Discusses Co-Management Board Meeting

The base camp in the Torngat Mountains National Park has been a host to many visitors this summer.

From researchers to federal politicians, there has been a steady flow of people to the park.

Jim Igliolorte made a visit to the park earlier this month.

Igliolorte is the Chair of the Torngat Mountains National Park Co-Management Board.

The board is made up of Inuit from Nunavik and Nunatsiavut who work closely with Parks Canada.

He says they had a full agenda during the board’s face-to-face meeting.

They discussed the management plan for the park, and the research that is taking place in the park.

He says it was a pleasure to meet with all the young people in the park’s student research program.

But he says it wasn’t all work.

The board had the opportunity to take in the sights in the park and head out on the land.

Anticipating the Revisiting of the Moratorium

A large number of exploration companies are patiently waiting to see what will happen when the moratorium on uranium is revisited this spring.

Silver Spruce Resources Inc. holds a large number of uranium claims inside the Labrador Central Mineral Belt.

Lloyd Hillier is President of Silver Spruce Resources.

He says they haven’t been active in the central mineral belt since the moratorium was announced.

The company is waiting until the moratorium is revisited by the Nunatsiavut Government in March, 2011.

Hillier says that if the result is positive and uranium mining is given the green light inside the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, then they will resume operations.

If the Nunatsiavut assembly decides not to go ahead with uranium mining, then the company will be forced to walk away from their stakes in the area.

Hillier says that although the moratorium is only in place in the Labrador Inuit Settlement Area, it still has an impact on the rest of Labrador.

Investors identify Labrador as a whole and will not invest in any uranium exploration or development with the moratorium in place.

He says if the moratorium is lifted, it will be beneficial for uranium exploration as a whole in Labrador.

Hillier adds that if the moratorium is lifted this spring, the company will seek investors and continue operations within the central mineral belt.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

MP Todd Russell's constituency visits

MP Todd Russell heard a lot of concerns from Labradorians during one of his constituency visits.

Todd Russell is the Member of Parliament for the Labrador district.

He says last week he finished his usual visit to Nunatsiavut and southern Labrador.

Russell says as always, he spoke to residents and local governments.

And like each year, many concerns and issues were brought forth.

He says in Nain, the issues include the need for a new airstrip and more housing.

Russell says the issues in Rigolet include a lack of employment and the need for a multi-purpose facility.

Disturbance on MV Northern Ranger

On August 24, RCMP in Makkovik received a complaint of a man causing a disturbance on the MV Northern Ranger.

According to an RCMP press release, a 26 year old man had assaulted a female with a weapon while traveling on the ferry overnight.

The man was arrested that morning when the ferry docked at the Makkovik wharf.

He was taken to the local detachment and locked up.

The police say the man was intoxicated.

The subject of this investigation was lodged in a cell and later released on a promise to appear in court.

An undertaking with conditions to stay away from the victim was issued.

The press release also stated that the RCMP zero tolerance for domestic violence and charges for assault with a weapon.

Other related charges are pending.

The victim required stitches for her injuries.

Many of the media outlets are claiming the man is a resident of Nain.

According to sources who know the man, he previously lived in the community of Nain for a couple of years but is originally from Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

He is not currently residing in Nain.

Torngat Fisheries plants winding down

The operations of Torngat Fish Producers Cooperative’s plants are winding down for this season.

John Ikkusek is the Manager at the Nain plant.

He says crews are cleaning the plant now and he expects the plant be closed by this weekend.

The Nain plant processed a total of 20,024 pounds of char this summer.

That number is down significantly from last year.

Meanwhile, the turbot fishery at the Makkovik fish plant is finished for the year.

Junior Andersen is the Production Manager.

He says a total of 70,328 pounds of turbot was landed.

That figure is also way down from the total catch last summer.

Both the Makkovik plant and the Nain plant were hoping to bring turbot to Nain for processing.

But the turbot just wasn’t there.

Andersen says the one boat still harvesting crab is on her last trip.

Up to today, 954,087 pounds of crab has been landed.

They still have between thirty and fifty people working at the plant.

Hope for local workers

The Nain Inuit Community Government (NICG) is addressing a concern in the community regarding the hiring of local employees by outside contractors.

During a meeting of the NICG on August 17, the issue was discussed.

Budgell’s Equipment and Rentals is in Nain constructing the road to the new water reserve at Trowser Lake.

Community members are disappointed that they haven’t hired more local employees for the project.

Darren Ledrew is the Site Manager for the project.

He says that they hire as many local workers as possible.

Currently, they have six locals working on the project.

They include a carpenter’s assistant, truck driver and four laborers.

Ledrew says the work crew is maxed out but they may hire more local people on a need basis.

Budgell’s contract ends at the end of this construction season.

There was no stipulation in the tender requiring the contractor to hire local workers.

The contract will be tendered by the NICG again next year.

During the meeting of the NICG, they decided that a requirement under the next tender would be to hire a certain amount of local workers.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Voisey’s Bay Operations Update

Operations at the Voisey’s Bay mine site are back in full swing.

Despite the absence of the employees who have been on strike for over a year now.

Tom Paddon is the General Manager for Vale in Newfoundland and Labrador.

He says full operations resumed at the site in June.

There are 220 employees at Voisey’s Bay including the various contractors in the camp.

Paddon says the strikers are still off the job and right now there are no talks scheduled between the strikers and the company.

The last round of talks didn’t go anywhere.

They took place in July.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Candidates for Upcoming Elections

The electoral race has now begun for Inuit Community Government AngajukKaks and Inuit Community Corporation Chairs.

Nominations closed in each of the communities yesterday.

Former First Minister Tony Andersen has announced his candidacy for AngajukKak of the Nain Inuit Community Government (ICG).

He joins fellow candidates Henry Broomfield and Sarah Leo, the incumbent AngajukKak.

Four new candidates have been announced for the AngajukKak of Hopedale.

Sukie Aggek, Wayne Piercy, Doris Boas and Garfield Flowers have joined Gregg Flowers and Jimmy Tuttauk in the upcoming Hopedale election.

Randy Edmunds has announced his candidacy in the community of Makkovik.

Edmunds joins incumbent AngajukKak Herb Jacque.

Karen Gear, Silpa Edmunds and Dianne Gear will all be campaigning for the position of AngajukKak in Postville.

They join fellow candidate Keith Decker, the incumbent AngajukKak for the Postville ICG.

Jennifer Hefler-Elson and Andrea Webb have announced their candidacy alongside fellow candidate Alex Saunders for Chair of the NunaKatiget Inuit Community Corporation in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

There are three candidates for the Chair of Sivunivut in North West River.

They are Carolyn Michelin, Clara Michelin and Edward Tuttauk, the current chair.

There will be no election for the community of Rigolet.

Charlotte Wolfrey will serve a regular term of four years following her election to the position of AngajukKak in March.

She filled the position left vacant by Danny Michelin.

Elections are set for September 14.

Vale's Civil Lawsuit Against Darren Cove

The President of United Steelworkers Local 9508 has been served papers in a civil lawsuit.

According to CBC news, Darren Cove was served the documents on Monday.

In the article Vale alleges that Cove defamed the company by stating that Vale treated its workers like second-class citizens.

This morning OKâlaKatigêt Radio contacted Cove regarding the lawsuit.

He says he will not provide any further comments until he consults his lawyer.

Turbot Fishery Finished

It looks like an early end for the turbot fishery in Nunatsiavut.

As of yesterday, fishing crews harvesting turbot in the Makkovik area have given up and headed home.

Junior Andersen is the Production Manager for the Makkovik fish plant.

He says last Thursday four boats had landed only 59,201 pounds of turbot.

An amount that could have easily been landed by a single boat in one trip last season.

The harvesters have packed it in and headed home following the poor catch.

The Nain fish plant was hoping to process 100, 000 pounds of turbot this season.

The plant hasn’t seen a single pound of turbot.

On the other hand, the crab fishery in Makkovik did well this summer.

As of last Thursday, they had landed 938,201 pounds of crab.

They still have one boat harvesting crab for the plant.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beehive of activity at Torngat Mountains National Park for LIDC

There’s a beehive of activity at the Torngat Mountains National Park base camp at kangidluasuk this summer.

Henry Lyall is the office Manager at the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation (LIDC) in Nain.

He says since LIDC took over the operation of the base camp from Parks Canada, work there has been steady.

Lyall says they have about forty people at the camp right now with different people expected there before the camp closes in September.

Four new nominations in upcoming AngajukKak Elections

Four more people have been nominated in the upcoming AngajukKak and Inuit Community Chair elections.

James Tuttauk has been nominated for AngajukKak in Hopedale.

He is running against fellow nominee Greg Flowers.

Karen Gear has been nominated for AngajukKak of the Postville Inuit Community Government.

She is running against three other candidates: Keith Decker, Diane Gear and Silpa Edmunds.

Two candidates have been nominated for the Chair of the Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation.

Carolyn Michelin and Clara Michelin will be running against the current chair, Edward Tuttauk.

Nominations close at 4pm today in each of the communities.

We’ll have the full list of candidates running in the election on tomorrow’s program.

The election is set for September 14.

Marine shipping containers continue to provide frustration in Nunatsiavut

The poor conditions of marine shipping containers used on the north coast are a continuing problem for retailers.

Albert Hamel is the Manager of Labrador Investments in Nain.

He says he’s been dealing with this problem since he started with Labrador Investments as manager seven years ago.

Hamel says the conditions of the shipping containers have been getting worst every year.

He says that he thought last year was the worst condition he’s seen them in.

But that was nothing compared to this year.

The containers have been found with large amounts of rust, missing boards and full of leaks.

Hamel says that many times the freight arrives with damages and at times completely destroyed.

To make up for the loss, prices have to be raised for the consumers.

Hamel says that he expected some improvement in the situation this year with the promise of 10 new shipping containers.

During a visit from several provincial ministers last year, a promise was made for 10 new shipping containers.

Hamel says he investigated the matter this season and was told the project was tendered too late and the containers weren’t able to be supplied in time.

Troubles with EastLink cable

Residents in Nain are still having problems with their cable service provided by EastLink Cable.

Some of the channels have been out of service for well over a month and a half.

We talked to a representative of EastLink again about the re-occurring problem.

Nain residents have been having problems with as many as eight of the channels.

Some of these channels have been receiving a lot of interference with two streaked lines that start rolling.

Those interferences have been accompanied by a lot of static.

People who are having problems with their channels are urged to contact EastLink.

So have you called about the shows that you’ve been missing?

If not, it’s beneficial for you to report the problems and let them know about the channels you’re missing out on.

Daybreak Cafe closing for good

On Friday, a well-known business in Goose Bay will be closing its doors for good.

Sherry Bessey is the owner of the Daybreak Café.

She says she is trying to sell everything within the building as a package deal.

Bessey says this includes the fryers, freezers, tables, chairs and even the curtains.

The wholesale list is almost in the final stages and already has three people interested.

Bessey says this is a very emotional time, because she has owned and operated the business for over 10 years.

She says she recently came back from vacationing and has been receiving a lot of support from her loyal customers.

Bessey adds that after the closure, she’ll be working as Manager of Valley Business Canon.

Valley Business Canon is owned by Winnie and Gerald Healey the lucky winners of the $26 million Lotto Max lottery.

Bessey adds that once the Daybreak Café is closed, the owner of the building will be bulldozing it down.

Torngat Mountains National Park: Growing Popularity

Ever since its establishment in January 2005, the Torngat Mountains National Park has been getting a lot of attention each year.

So much attention, that a well-known Toronto news paper, The Globe and Mail, published a story on the park.

Titled ‘Torngat mountains: Let the spirit move you’, the article showcases fascinating photographs of the wildlife, scenery and local residents of Nain.

The story talks about everything from ancestral heritage, traditions, culture and what the area is like today.

Also under the comments section, a commenter says he just returned home from the park.

He says he flew on a Cessna 180 float plane and for anyone who owns a float-plane: they owe it to them self to take this trip of a lifetime.

The commenter says Alain Lagacé of Rapid Lake Lodge will guide you from his float plane through the mountains, into the canyons, and amongst the icebergs.

He adds that Lagacé will drop into mountain lakes to fish arctic char and says that it is a wilderness experience that doesn't get any better.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Grand Opening of Kirkina House

A special grand opening took place during the Rigolet Salmon Festival earlier this month.

Charlotte Wolfrey is the AngajukKâk of the Rigolet Inuit Community Government.

She says the official opening of the Kirkina House was August 7.

The women’s shelter is named after Kirkina Mucko, a resident of Rigolet who passed away some years ago.

Wolfrey says Mucko was born, raised and married in the town.

But there is a unique story to Mucko.

Mucko had lost her legs from the knees down and still managed to live a normal life.

Wolfrey says Mucko was an inspiration to the community and even delivered some of Rigolet’s children as a midwife.

New Rule Frustration for Nain Retailers

A new rule has been a cause of frustration for Nain retailers receiving air freight.

Albert Hamel is the Manager of Labrador Investments in Nain.

He says recently a new rule has been put in place at the airstrip which restricts retailers from driving on to the ramp while planes are there.

In the past, retailers collecting freight would drive onto the ramp and load the freight directly from the plane to the freight trucks.

Now the freight is left on the ramp until the planes have left the runway.

Hamel says this is a huge inconvenience, especially when you’re dealing with perishable items such as fruit and milk.

He says the rule was put into place after one of the retailers pulled their freight truck in front of a plane that was taking off.

When the freight was loaded directly, it would take about 4-7 minutes for the retailers to collect the freight.

With the new rule the wait time has been increased up to an hour at times.

This is an hour that the freight is left sitting on the ramp.

And on days when temperatures reach 30 degrees and over, that’s a big concern for the perishable items.

He adds that the spray and exhaust landing on the freight from the planes is also a big concern.

Not to mention the fuel on the ramp.

Hamel hopes that a solution can be found that is more beneficial to the retailers of Nain.

Greg Flowers Nominated for Hopedale AngajukKâk

Greg Flowers has been nominated for the Hopedale Inuit Community Government AngajukKâk.

The former Nunatsiavut Government Health and Social Development Minister is the only nominee in the community so far.

Nominations close on Monday, August 23.

The election of AngajukKâks and Inuit Community Corporation Chairs is set for September 14.

Makkovik Inuit Community Government Summer End Update

The Green Team’s summer project will be wrapping up in Makkovik today.

Herb Jacque is the Inuit Community Government AngajukKak.

He says the team of four has been working on the project for the past eight weeks.

They have been promoting green methods in the community like recycling and composting.

He says a summer student is also finishing her work assisting the ICG office today.

In other projects, Jacque says a fire hydrant in the community is under repair.

And the maintenance crew is busy with their regular duties around town.

He says the council will hold their regular meeting next Wednesday.

That is if there is a quorum, because most of the councilors may have just returned from their summer holidays.

First Church Service to be Aired Since Mid-July

We are pleased to let our audience know that the Nain church service will be on the air again this Sunday.

OKalaKatiget listeners haven’t been able to hear the church services from Nain since July 18.

The problem was that the phone line wasn’t connected to the receiver, but that’s been fixed now.

Aliant carried out the repairs yesterday.

So you will once again hear the church service live from Nain on Sunday.

Let’s hope the line stays connected for a while.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rosetta Stone Inuttitut - Level II

The Rosetta Stone Inuttitut Language Learning Software was a huge step toward preserving the Labrador Inuttitut Language.

Rosetta Stone representatives are in Nain working on Level II of the project.

Marion Bittinger and Phil Easley are with Rosetta Stone out of Virginia.

They say they are proud to announce that they are in the process of creating a second Rosetta Stone Inuktitut program.

Bittinger says last week, Craig Spaulding was in Nain taking photographs for the software.

This week, Bittinger and Easley are working with locals who are providing ‘voicers’ for the CD.

She adds that while creating level two of the software, they have set a new company record.

Universal Helicopters aircraft crashes along Baffin Island coast

Universal Helicopters in Goose Bay reported one of their aircraft's went missing on Monday.

The helicopter’s planned route was along the coast of Baffin Island.

Geoff Goodyear is the President and Chief Operating Officer for Universal Helicopters in Goose Bay.

He says since the weather was down, it was difficult to perform a search for the aircraft and pilot.

Yesterday morning, searchers found pieces of debris and the fuselage on top of the water 42 miles north of Clyde River.

At this point, he says the search is now in recovery mode.

Goodyear says they have been in close contact with the pilot’s family and are offering any support they can.

According to Nunatsiaq News this morning, the search for the missing pilot has been called off.

Fuel prices drop

A week ago, fuel prices in Nunatsiavut went up, but this week consumers will be a little more pleased when paying at the pumps.

According to the Public Utilities Board’s petroleum pricing office, the prices of fuel have dropped significantly.

The cost of gasoline last week was $1.37.7 per liter.

This week it dropped 4.2 cents per liter (cpl) and now customers will pay $1.33.5.

For homeowners who use home heating fuel for warmth, last week stove oil was set at $1.05.8.

This week the price dropped just over 3 cents.

The price for stove oil is now set at $1.02.76 per liter.

If you are a consumer of diesel fuel, you’ll also be pleased with a drop of 3.5 cpl.

Diesel at the pumps is now $1.30.9.

Fishery in Nunatsiavut slacking off

The Crab Fishery at the Makkovik Fish Plant seems to be slacking off.

Junior Andersen is the Production Manager.

He says the crab season closes at the end of August.

Two boats are still bringing in crab.

They have now landed 938,201 pounds.

The turbot fishery still isn’t picking up at the plant.

Andersen says they’re fishing in the same areas as last year but the turbot are very scarce.

Four boats have now landed 59,201pounds of turbot.

They still have about seventy workers working one shift a day.

He adds summer students will be laid off after this week.

Meanwhile the char fishery in Nain closed on Saturday, August 14th.

Deidi Kohlmeister is the Office Manager.

She says the total catch landed for this year is 20,024 pounds.

They are still smoking a few char with eight to ten people working at the plant.

Kohlmeister says they’re hopeful the turbot fishery in the Makkovik area will pick up so they can bring turbot to the Nain plant to be processed.

Two more nominations for upcoming AngajukKak elections

Two more people have been nominated in the upcoming AngajukKak and Community Corporation Chair elections.

Henry Broomfield has been nominated for AngajukKak in the community of Nain.

He is nominated alongside incumbent AngajukKak Sarah Leo.

Edward Tuttauk has been nominated for the Chair of the Sivunivut Inuit Community Corporation in North West River.

Tuttauk is currently serving as the Chair of Sivunivut.

He is the only nominee in that constituency to date.

Nominations close on August 23.

The election is set for September 14.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Results of Plebiscite Discussed During NICG Meeting

The results of the plebiscite that was held this week were a big topic of discussion during a meeting of the NICG.

One of our reporters attended the regular meeting of the NICG last evening.

The NICG believes the results of the plebiscite show that there is a large concern in the community regarding the consumption of alcohol.

Although the plebiscite resulted in favor of no ban, the NICG says that they feel the majority of the residents want something to be done about alcohol in the community.

They have come to this conclusion through reviewing reports created by the Nunatsiavut Government’s Drug and Alcohol Committee.

And also from speaking with various community members.

Over the next month the NICG will be meeting with various agencies and the public to get their input on what they feel needs to be done.

From there, the NICG will determine its next step.

Whatever they decide upon will have to be put into provincial legislation.

This means that whatever is decided will be provincial law and enforced by the RCMP.

Six Nominations for Upcoming Elections

Six people have been nominated for the upcoming AngajukKak and Inuit Community Corporation Chair elections.

Herb Jacque, the current AngajukKak for the Makkovik Inuit Community Government (ICG), has been nominated in Makkovik.

The current AngajukKak for the Nain ICG, Sarah Leo, has also been nominated.

Keith Decker, the current AngajukKak for Postville, is nominated in that community.

Other nominees in Postville include Diane Gear and Silpa Edmunds.

And in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Alex Saunders has been nominated for the NunaKatiget Inuit Community Corporation Chair.

Nominations close on August 23.

The elections are scheduled to take place on September 14.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Nain residents choose 'No' ban

It has been determined that the majority of Nain residents would not like to see Nain become a dry community.

This is following the results of a plebiscite held in the community yesterday.

A total of 524 voters out of an eligible 862 cast their vote.

That’s 61 percent of the eligible voters.

204 people voted in favor of a ban.

Which is 39 percent of the votes cast.

While 318 voted against the ban.

61 percent of the votes cast.

Two of the ballots were declared spoiled.

Sarah Leo, the AngajuKak for the Nain Inuit Community Government (NICG), says she is very pleased with the amount of people who came out and cast their vote.

The results of the plebiscite will be discussed this evening during the NICG’s regular meeting.

Drowning in Hopedale

The community of Hopedale is grieving the loss of one of its residents following a drowning near the community yesterday.

Constable Andrew Standen is the Acting Corporal for the Hopedale RCMP Detachment.

In a press release he says RCMP members responded to a call of a drowning at Shetnik yesterday afternoon.

Shetnik is a local swimming area located just outside of the community.

Witnesses stated that they saw a local man go under the water minutes before the RCMP arrived.

The first RCMP member on the scene had entered the water in an attempt to retrieve the man.

The attempt was unsuccessful.

Over 20 volunteers joined the RCMP in the search for the 35-year-old male.

After three hours of searching, the body was recovered.

The man’s body was taken to the local clinic where he was pronounced dead.

An investigation into the matter is ongoing.

Nominations open today for AngajukKaks

Nominations open today for AngajukKâk’s of the Inuit Community Governments and the Chairs of the Inuit Community Corporations.

In order to be qualified as a candidate in the election, a nominee must be a beneficiary 19-years or older.

The nominee must be resident of the community for at least 60 days before the election.

And they must not have any debt with the Inuit Community Government.

The only community not holding nominations is Rigolet.

Jack Shiwak is the Chief Electoral Officer for the Nunatsiavut Government.

He says Charlotte Wolfrey was elected as AngajukKâk for the Rigolet Inuit Community Government in March.

She filled the position that was left vacant when Danny Michelin resigned.

If an AngajukKâk is elected within a year of regular elections, they finish that term and then serve a regular term.

AngajukKâk’s and Community Chairs serve a four-year term.

Nominations close on August 23.

Elections are set for September 14.

National Inuit Youth Summit underway

The National Inuit Youth Summit in Inuvik is underway.

Three youth from Nunatsiavut were chosen to attend, but could not go.

Sandra Dicker is the Youth Coordinator for the Nunatsiavut Government.

She says she was unable to chaperone the youth to the Summit because of personal reasons.

And the other adult chaperone, Heather Edmunds, did not feel comfortable traveling that far with the youth.

So, in the end, the parents of the youth agreed that it was too far for them to travel alone.

Dicker says they were disappointed, but very understanding of the situation.

She let them know that there will be other opportunities for them to apply in the future.

Dicker adds that Jennifer Watkins of Kuujuaq has been elected as President of the National Inuit Youth Council.

Tubot fishery not doing well

The turbot fishery in Nunatsiavut isn’t doing very well this season.

Junior Andersen is the Production Manager at the Makkovik fish plant.

He says the turbot season for this year opened on August 1.

But the harvesters in Makkovik didn’t head out until a week or so later.

He says the turbot harvesters aren’t doing very well right now.

Andersen says they have four boats bringing in turbot.

As of today, they have made six landings with only 49, 915 pounds of turbot.

He says last year one boat could have easily landed that much in one trip.

So right now, Andersen feels bringing turbot to the Nain fish plant doesn’t look very good.

There were hopes that the Nain plant would process 100, 000 pounds of turbot this season.

Harvesters were planning to land at the plant if there catches were large enough to justify the journey.

He adds it would not be worth their while to travel that distance with a very little catch.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Multiplex for Nain not nearing anytime soon

With a constantly growing population comes a bigger demand for services in Nain.

Sarah Leo is the AngajukKak of the Nain Inuit Community Government.

She says they have $4 million to go towards a multipurpose complex.

However, with the new blueprints, the total cost to build is $5.2 million.

To add to the dilemma, locations are pretty hard to come by.

Leo adds that once this facility is built it will meet a lot of the public’s needs.

Today: Nain votes to ban or keep alcohol in the community

Residents are casting their vote today to see if they would like to see Nain become a dry community.

A motion to hold a plebiscite was tabled during a meeting of the Nain Inuit Community Government on August 4.

The plebiscite allows for government to get the public’s opinion on a matter before them.

This is done through a vote.

The question proposed through the plebiscite is: “Would you like to see Nain become a dry community?”

Voters can choose either yes or no.

Voting is takes place from 8AM to 8PM at the community hall.

Anyone 16-years and older can cast their vote.

There are 862 eligible voters.

Just before 1PM we contacted the polling station to get an idea of voter turn-out.

At that time, 232 residents had cast their vote, which is about 27 percent of the eligible voters.

OKâlaKatigêt radio will broadcast the results of the vote live.

We’ll go on the air at 8PM when the polls close.

Dump truck knocks out fiberoptic lines

Over the weekend, internet services were down for most of Labrador.

Wayne Sheppard is the Regional Manager for Bell Aliant.

He says a dump truck near Lab City hooked a fiber-optic line that caused the outage.

It happened early Saturday morning when the driver of the dump truck finished unloading on a small road.

Sheppard says the truck driver was working on the paving of the Trans Labrador Highway.

Apparently the driver didn’t lower the bucket which exceeded height restrictions.

He says the area where this occurred was approximately 70 kilometers east of Lab City.

A dispatch crew was flown in by helicopter to the scene.

Sheppard says the internet service was restored about 13 to 14 hours later, at approximately 9:30PM.

Sheppard adds that everything seems to be back to normal.

Close call for Former NG First Minister

The former First Minister of the Nunatsiavut Government, Tony Andersen, had a close call in Makkovik last week.

Andersen says he was at his mother’s house cutting grass when suddenly it became hard to breathe.

Aware that something was wrong, Andersen started making his way to the local clinic.

Luckily, the clinic was right next door.

He says as he made his way, it was becoming increasingly harder to breath and he was becoming more and more disoriented.

When Andersen arrived at the clinic, the staff acted quickly.

Andersen says they realized that something was seriously wrong and proceeded to give him an EpiPen.

Andersen says that while he was at the clinic, his heart rate was all over the place.

Clinic staff had told Andersen that if he had taken any longer to get to the clinic there could have been fatal consequences.

Andersen spent over seven hours at the clinic receiving treatment.

He says he is not sure what caused the sudden reaction.

While he was cutting the grass, there were a lot of bugs around.

Andersen says that he has never experienced a reaction like this and he doesn’t have any allergies that he’s aware of.

He adds that he feels he owes his life to the clinic staff and thanks them for their excellent response.

IKajutet committee doing well

The newly formed IKajutet committee has been doing very well with fund raising efforts.

Kitora Abel is the President of the Committee.

She says they now have a lot of members who sit on the committee.

With people still asking to join.

Abel is very pleased with the interest people show for IKajutet.

The committee, formed in June, use the money they raise to help their community in emergency situations.

They have had 50/50 ticket draws, cold plate sales and hosted Bingo’s to raise money.

Since formed, the committee was able to raise enough money to bring five people home to attend a friend’s funeral.

Abel says their next meeting will be held at the end of the month.

Another porbeagle shark caught near Nain

Another porbeagle shark was found in a Nain resident’s net over the weekend.

Ray Ford says he had a net out at Sealing Bite, near Black Island outside of Nain.

When he went to check his net on Friday afternoon, he found that it was sunk.

When he pulled the net up, he discovered that a porbeagle shark was tangled in the mesh.

Ford says the shark was caught in the net by its tail and teeth.

He says it was over seven feet in length.

He untangled the shark and dumped it in the area.

Before he did that, Bonnie Lyall says they took a piece to eat.

Lyall says they fried the shark meat in cooking oil.

She says the meat was delicious.

Lyall adds it had the same texture and taste as scallops.

This is the third porbeagle shark caught by a Nain resident since 2007.

When the first porbeagle was reported in the summer of 2007, it was the farthest north a porbeagle had been reported in the Atlantic Ocean.

Friday, August 13, 2010

New Aliant Tower

Work is underway with the construction of a new communications tower near Rigolet.

Wayne Sheppard is with Bell Aliant.

He says a contracted crew is now constructing the new tower in Double Mer, located northwest of Rigolet.

Sheppard says this new tower will be a big improvement over the last one.

Last winter, the tower in Double Mer collapsed from an enormous amount of ice buildup.

The collapse caused communications in Nunatsiavut to go down for about two weeks.

Upgrade to Goose Bay Airport to Benefit Nunatsiavut Passengers

Residents of the North Coast are all too familiar with the stresses of dealing with being placed on weather hold at the Goose Bay Airport.

An upgrade and expansion project to the airport will help make the wait time a little more comfortable.

Goronwy Price is the General Manager of the Goose Bay Airport Corporation.

He says the upgrade and expansion project began about a month ago.

Price says once the project is complete, the airport will be unrecognizable.

The facility will be completely modernized and expanded to about twice its current size.

He says this will be very beneficial for the 100, 000 or so people who pass through the facility annually.

There will be separate entrances for arrivals and departures making navigating through the facility much easier.

Price says services will also be expanded such as food services and waiting rooms.

The airport will remain in operation while the upgrading and expansion is taking place.

Price says there may be some inconvenience caused by the construction, but they will try to keep operations as smooth as possible.

The anticipated date of completion for the 13 million dollar project is December, 2011.

The cost of the project is shared between the Goose Bay Airport Corporation and the provincial and federal governments.

Three Youth to Attend the National Inuit Youth Summit

The National Inuit Youth Summit will take place on August 16-20 in Inuvik.

Youth from each Inuit region will be there along with other special guests.

Sandra Dicker, the Youth Coordinator for NG will be attending.

Along with Lillian Angnatok of Nain and Heather Edmunds & Brandon Pardy of Makkovik.

They start their journey to Inuvik today.

They will arrive at Inuvik on Monday.

During the Summit, the youth will interact in many discussions and icebreakers.

It is an opportunity for youth to gain leadership skills and set priorities for the National Inuit Youth Council.

Presidential Elections will also be held during the Summit.

Voisey’s Bay Team Headed to National Firefighter Competition

Following a successful run in a regional firefighter competition, a team from Voisey’s Bay is headed to nationals.

Sid Pain is the coach of the team.

He says members of the site’s Mine Rescue Team headed to Halifax to compete in what is known as the toughest two minutes in sports.

The Scott Firefit Championships Atlantic Regional’s took place in Halifax at the beginning of this month.

The team was encouraged to attend the event after a Memorial University Trainer had noted the team’s strength and broad skill set.

To train for the competition, the competitors built a simulated course.

Eight of the Mine Rescue Team members had taken part in the competition including four Nunatsiavut beneficiaries.

This is the first year that a team from Voisey’s Bay has been part of the competition.

The firefighters managed to nab gold and silver medals in the Industrial Firefighter relay category.

Their win qualifies them for the National Scott Firefit Competition in Brampton, Ontario, in early September.

The competition will be broadcasted on TSN.

Forteau Bakeapple Festival

The 31st Annual Bakeapple Festival wrapped up in Forteau, Labrador last weekend.

Stelmann Flynn is one of the organizers of the well known event.

He says everyone enjoys taking part in the activities the festival has to offer.

Flynn says the numbers have been declining over the past 10 years.

He believes the causes of the decreased participation are an aging population and a declining population in general.

The highlights of the bakeapple festival include folk music, slits, open night concerts and a local square dance.

He added he was very pleased with the turnout of 4-500 people.

Stelmann says it wasn’t a good summer for berry harvesting again this year.

He believes that may be due to the heavy rains this season.

He added he bought about 200 pounds of bake apples for the Food Chopper Discount Grocery.

This is quite a drastic decline compared to the usual 5-600 pounds gathered in previous years.

Beluga Spotted near Nain

Nain residents geared up and headed out yesterday with hopes of getting a taste of maktak.

Three boats were out in the harbor yesterday after word that a beluga whale was spotted near Nain.

Beluga whales aren’t native to Labrador and their meat is considered a rare delicacy.

There haven’t been any reports of anybody catching the beluga as of yet.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nain AngajukKak Clarifies Plebiscite

There’s been a lot of confusion within the community of Nain regarding the upcoming plebiscite.

Sarah Leo, the AngaujuKak of the Nain Inuit Community Government, dropped by our studio to clear things up.

She says she has been receiving a lot of questions on what the plebiscite actually means.

Leo says the plebiscite is used to determine how the community feels about alcohol in the community.

The vote will determine if people want to see Nain become a dry community.

She says the outcome of the vote will not necessarily result in any changes.

It is only used to gauge the community’s opinion on how they feel about the consumption and distribution of alcohol in the community.

NG Building Final Inspections

The Nunatsiavut Government (NG) building in Nain is set to be officially complete.

Bert Pomeroy is NG’s Director of Communications.

He says Colby’s Construction has fulfilled their contract and is now finished the construction of the NG building.

Budgell's Equipment & Rentals along with D & J Construction Ltd. has finished the landscaping.

Pomeroy adds that the last step in the official completion of the NG building is final inspections.

The final inspections are anticipated to be completed sometime this week.

Torngat Arts/Crafts Incorporated

Following a year of operation, Torngat Arts and Crafts Incorporated (TAAC) in Nain is looking to create paid positions.

Molly Shiwak sits on the board.

She says to date, a four member board and local volunteers have been running the craft shop.

The board made a request to begin the search for executive positions.

The positions is an Executive Director and a General Manager.

Shiwak says these new jobs will relieve the workload of the volunteers.

The job advertisements are posted in all Nunatsiavut communities.

She says TAAC received some monies from different funding agencies to provide wages for the new positions.

Due to funding requirements, the successful applicant for the General Manager position must be a beneficiary between the ages of 15-30.

Applications can be submitted to the TAAC board before August 23.

Gas Prices Up

Residents of the north coast are paying a little less at the pumps.

Effective today, the price of gasoline has decreased by 0.7 cents per liter (cpl).

Consumers are now paying $1.37.7 per liter for gasoline.

Home heating fuel on the other hand has increased by 1.9 cpl.

The price of home heating fuel is now set at $1.05.8 per liter.

Fuel prices in the province are set by the board of commissioners of public utilities.

The change comes as part of the public utilities board’s weekly adjustment of fuel prices.

Makkovik and Nain Fish Plant Update

The first catch of turbot for this season has been landed at the Makkovik Fish plant.

Junior Andersen is the Production Manager for the plant.

He says two fishing boats landed the catch yesterday.

Andersen says 26,643 pounds of turbot were brought in for processing.

He says the crab fishery is progressing well.

896,126 pounds of crab has been landed to date with three boats harvesting the shellfish.

Andersen adds there are seventy employees working at the plant.

Meanwhile, operations at the Nain fish plant have slowed down.

Deidi Kolhmeister is the Office Supervisor for the Nain plant.

She says 18,139 pounds of char has been landed to date.

That’s just a little under 2, 000 pounds shy of their 20, 000 pound goal.

Kolhmeister adds there are five fishermen fishing and twenty employees working at the plant.

The season for char closes August 14th.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Nain Community Constable position now advertised

The Nain Inuit Community Government has begun the search for a Community Constable.

The job ad for the position was recently posted around town.

It requires the applicant to have at least a grade 12 education and, among other things, a valid driver’s license.

The job is a full-time, permanent position.

The successful applicant will have to complete a three month probationary period.

The Community Constable will perform minor police duties such as patrolling and issuing tickets.

The rate of pay will be based on annual funding that will be received from the provincial Department of Justice.

The deadline is September 3.

Applications can be forwarded to the Nain Inuit Community Government.

The successful candidate begins in mid-September.

Lack of funding stalls Hebron Church restoration

Restoration efforts on the church in Hebron continue to be stalled until funding can be acquired to continue the project.

Bert Pomeroy is the Director of Communications with the Nunatsiavut Government.

He says that as of now, there are no definite plans for continuing renovations this season.

Funding for the work done to date was provided by the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency and the provincial government.

The Nunatsiavut Government is looking to secure funds to continue the restoration efforts.

Pomeroy says most of the stabilization of the church has been carried out.

A small section of the roof still requires stabilization.

There are hopes that the stabilization will be finished this year.

He says that a business plan has been drafted which details the work left to do in the restoration of the national historic site.

Although renovations are not taking place, a family is still stationed at Hebron to continue monitoring the site.

USW Family Day BBQ

As an act of promoting solidarity within Nunatsiavut, the United Steelworkers Union (USW) Local 9508 is hosting a Family Day Barbecue in several Nunatsiavut communities.

Union members of the Local 9508 have traveled from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Nain, Hopedale and Makkovik.

Kim Oliver is a member of the Union.

She says herself and Billy Blake will be the hosts in Nain.

Oliver says they will start preparing for the barbecue around 4pm and will be serving hot-dogs and hamburgers at 5pm.

She says there will be tickets drawn on USW shirts and hats.

They will also have prizes for a fishpond game for children.

Oliver adds everything is free and encourages everyone to come out to the Husky Center and have a great time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Decline in Caribou Population Delays Season for Non-Aboriginals

A decline in the population of the George River caribou herd has delayed the caribou season for non-aboriginals.

In a press release, the Minister of Environment and Conservation, Charlene Johnson, confirms a continued and serious decline in the herd.

Last month a post-calving census was carried out on the George River caribou herd.

The census was carried out by several partners including the Nunatsiavut Government and the Torngat Plant and Wildlife Co-Management Board.

Although the final results of the census will not be available until the fall, preliminary results have confirmed the decline.

Caribou from the herd have also been collared to give a better idea of the status of the population.

Following the results of the census, the provincial government will review caribou harvesting management strategies.

The caribou season for non-aboriginals was scheduled to begin today.

An update on the harvest management plan for the herd is anticipated in early September.

The caribou season for non-aboriginals is suspended until that time

Nain Depending on Turbot Fishery

Char season is just about to wrap up leaving the Nain fish plant looking towards the turbot fishery.

John Ikkusek is Manager of the Nain Fish Plant.

He says to date there have been about 17, 000 pounds of char landed at the plant.

And they hope to have about 20, 000 pounds by the time the char season finishes.

The char season ends on August 14.

Ikkusek says their final total of char landed will be about 10, 000 pounds less than last year’s total.

He says the lower amount is due to a lack of fisherman and the fact that the plant was closed for a week mid-season.

Now the Nain plant is looking towards the turbot fishery.

The plant hopes to process about 100, 000 pounds of turbot this season.

Ikkusek says the turbot harvesters are out now harvesting their catch.

But as to whether or not they will be landing their catch in Nain is still up in the air.

Ikkusek says the turbot harvesters can either land their catch in Nain or Makkovik.

He says it is likely that if the harvesters catch a full load, they will land it in Nain.

If not, they will land their catch at Makkovik’s plant.

NainYouth Group Heading to Iggiak

A number of youth from Nain will be giving up the stresses of community life and heading out on the land.

Caitlyn Baikie is a Summer Student at the Nunatsiavut Government’s Department of Health and Social Development in Nain.

She says approximately 14 youth will be packing up and heading to Iggiak.

There they’ll take part in discussion groups, activities and learn a few things from an elder who will be traveling with them.

Other activities include fishing and talking around the camp fire.

Baikie says the youth have been using their office for the planning of the trip.

They have been working together very well to make this trip happen.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Former LIDC Assistant General Manager Discusses Operations

With the LIDC quarries not operating this summer, many people have been left wondering what has lead to this.

Charles Martin worked as LIDC’s Assistant General Manager last fall.

He says he has some theories as to why the LIDC is in the state it is in.

Martin says that during his time with the LIDC, he had experienced a lot of hostility in the office.

He says the hostility that existed eventually lead to his resignation.

We will be airing part one of Martin’s interview today.

On Wednesday’s AtjiKangitut program we will hear part two of Martin’s interview.

Then, he will discuss why he believes the LIDC is in the state they are in and suggest some possible solutions he has to the operational issues.

Last Plebiscite Resulted in No Ban

In the early 1990s, Nain residents cast their vote in a plebiscite similar to the one that will be held a week from now.

We did some digging through the Nain Inuit Community Government’s records from the time the last plebiscite was held.

According to the minutes of a meeting of the former Town Council of Nain, the last plebiscite was held on November 19, 1991.

The idea of a plebiscite was recommended to the council following the violent deaths of two of the community’s residents.

The council at the time tabled a motion to hold a plebiscite that would get the community’s input on what, if anything, they would like to see happen with alcohol in the community.

The motion was passed unanimously.

The question presented through the plebiscite was stated:

“In relation to the consumption of alcohol and homebrew in Nain, what do you want done about the situation?”

The three options presented to the community were:

- A total ban
- More limitations; or
- No change.

365 residents cast their vote out of an eligible 649 voters.

The results were:

- 106 in favor of a total ban
- 108 in favor of adding more limitations; and
- 149 called for no change.
That’s 29 percent in favor of a ban, 30 percent requesting more limitations and 41 percent of the voters calling for no change.

Two of the ballots cast were declared spoiled.

The council decided they needed a majority vote to give them a clear direction of what needed to be done.

Since none of the options had gathered 50 percent plus one of the votes, the council decided to take no further action.

Nain residents will be given two options in the upcoming plebiscite: yes or no to a dry community.

Voting will take place on August 16.

Polar Bears Posing a Problem near Hebron

A family summering at Hebron had to be moved into safer accommodations due to a threat posed by Polar Bears.

Derek Kowalchuk is the Director of the Torngasok Cultural Center.

He says a family of four has been moved from a tent to a cabin due to a high number of Polar Bears visiting the site.

The family is stationed at Hebron to ensure the safety of the site while it undergoes renovations.

Although renovations aren’t happening this year, the family continues to monitor the site.

Kowalchuk says polar bears have been in the area in previous years, but not in such high numbers or so close to the site.

To ensure the safety of the family, they have been moved into a rented cabin equipped with polar bear nail boards.

Kowalchuk believes the high number of bears may have something to do with an increased amount of vegetation due to the high temperatures this summer.

Walk for Yes Voters on Nain Alcohol Ban

The plebiscite to ban alcohol in Nain has been a major topic of discussion in the community this past week.

Some residents are even gathering together to make it known that they will be voting in favor of banning alcohol.

Beni Andersen is one of the organizers of the group.

On Saturday, she and about 20 other people walked around Nain with banners to show their support to make Nain a dry community.

She says people from all age groups took part in the walk.

Children, youth, adults and seniors all came out to show their support.

Andersen says some of the children were as young as five-years-old.

The route they took began at the airstrip, took them around the Nain Husky Center and back to the airstrip.

Also included in the route was the local beer supplier: Puff n’ Snacks.

There, they attempted to encourage people to vote yes.

Andersen hopes to have a meeting soon to determine what they plan to do next.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Uivak plantation research

Nunatsiavut is a very busy spot for research during the summer season.

This season is no exception.

Cynthia Zutter is a researcher from Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton.

She says she just returned from Uivak, an area near Okak.

While there Zutter had collected samples for testing.

She says she is examining how former residents in the area used various plantations.

These samples will be taken to Edmonton for analysis.

NICG establishes voting age for upcoming plebiscite

The age to vote has been established for the upcoming plebiscite in Nain.

Sarah Leo is the AngajuKak for the Nain Inuit Community Government (NICG).

She says the NICG has decided that they will follow the age of voting used for Nunatsiavut elections.

Residents 16-years and older will be able to cast their vote on the plebiscite.

Caitlyn Baikie is the Vice-President of the Rising Youth Council of Nunatsiavut.

She says she is pleased with the news, but would like to see the age taken a step further.

Baikie believes the age to vote should be 8-years and up.

She says she has been looking over reports that were completed before the last plebiscite in the early 2000s.

The reports detail the effect that drinking has had on many community members.

Included in those reports are testimonies from children.

The children talked about the effect that drinking had on their lives.

Baikie believes that these children should have a say on whether or not Nain should be a dry community.

Nain residents will cast their vote on the plebiscite on August 16.

Absence of Judge not of concern for Labrador

The absence of a judge from Labrador courts is having a minimal impact on the delivery of justice on the north coast.

Judge William English is currently on sick leave.

That leaves only one provincial court judge serving Labrador.

Mark Pike is the Chief Judge for the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador.

He says the absence of an experienced judge from the justice system provides some challenges.

Fortunately for Labrador, there has only been the cancellation of two scheduled court circuits.

Those cancellations were in Nain and Hopedale in May.

He says their judicial administrative staff has been monitoring the situation in Labrador.

Judges from other parts of the province have been called on to assist with the extra load.

Pike says this is a normal practice in these sorts of situations.

He adds that the provincial courts are wishing Judge English a speedy recovery and are looking forward to a return to his duties.

Small fire at the Labrador Grenfell Health

There was a small fire in the Labrador Health Centre in Goose Bay on Wednesday.

Allan Bock is Manager of Communications for Labrador Grenfell Health (LGH).

He says the fire happened on August 4.

The Fire Department was on scene very quickly.

With the help of the staff of LGH the fire was quickly brought under control.

Bock says a small section of the hospital has sustained smoke and water damage.

Fortunately, there were no injuries reported.

An assessment is now being done to see what repairs need to be carried out.

Other details could not be released at this time.

Why August 13th is special to the Nain Moravian Church

The Moravian Church in Nain will be having their August 13 celebration this coming Sunday

That day is a very significant date within the Moravian church.

On this day in 1727, the congregation of the church in Berthelsdorf, Germany wasn’t getting along.

There was a division amongst the people in Hernnhut, Germany. Fighting and quarrelling was taking place amongst the church leaders and the people.

But on August 13, 1727, during a Holy Communion service.

The residents of Hernnhut were reunited into the Renewed Brethren’s Church through the Spirit of God.

The congregation members ended up crying amongst themselves, hugging and forgiving each other.

So in recognition of this, the Moravian Church in Nain will be holding special services this Sunday.

At 10:00 AM there will be a special Inuktitut service, 5:00 PM will be the Inuktitut Liturgy for this date and Holy Communion takes place at 7:00 PM.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Cellular Serivces a No-Go for 2010

Cell phone services for Nain will not go ahead this year.

David Torres is the Business Development Manager of OmniGlobe Networks.

He says they’re unable to secure a private business partner to get this project off the ground.

Despite the interest, Nain is currently not on the road map for services in 2010.

Torres says they met with the Labrador Inuit Development Corporation (LIDC) several months ago.

They haven’t heard from LIDC since.

He says ideally they would like to provide these services for all of Nunatsiavut.

Not the First Time Nain Voted on Dry Community

When Nain residents cast their vote in the plebiscite on August 16, it won’t be the first time.

A similar vote was held in the 90s.

At that time Johannes Lampe was the Mayor of Nain.

Residents were given three options: yes to an alcohol ban, no to a ban or to allow alcohol in the community with restrictions.

The outcome of the vote was in favor of not putting a ban in place.

The upcoming plebiscite only has two options: yes or no to a dry community.

Residents will make their decision on August 16.

North American Indigenous Games Canceled

The 2011 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) have been canceled.

Todd Winters is the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Sport and Recreation Circle NL.

He says they’ve just found out that the Milwaukee Host Society have pulled out of hosting the games due to financial reasons.

Winters says the Aboriginal Sports Circle of Canada is now trying to figure out something for 2011 or 2012.

Board meetings had been held in Conne River Newfoundland last month to develop a timeline for Team Newfoundland and Labrador’s participation.

The NAIG were to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from July 10 – 17, 2011.

Impaired Drivers in ULM

RCMP in Sheshatshiu and Happy Valley-Goose Bay were busy last month.

In a press release, RCMP say they were taking impaired drivers off the roads during the week of July 25-31.

RCMP arrested and charged two different drivers with operating a vehicle while impaired.

Police want to remind motorists that these are very serious offenses and could have major consequences.

RCMP would like to remind residents to contact them if they believe that somebody is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Char and Crab Landings at Nain and Makkovik Plants

The Nain fish plant will continue to process char until mid-August.

Deidi Kohlmeister is the Office Supervisor for the Nain plant.

She says 14,068lbs of char has been landed to date.

Kohlmeister adds there are twenty employees working at the plant, and seven fishermen harvesting the char.

The Makkovik fish plant is still very busy with crab this summer.

We spoke to Junior Andersen, the Production Manager for the plant.

He says 861,965lbs of crab has been landed to date.

Andersen says there are seventy employees working at the plant.

Three crab boats are harvesting the catch.

He adds three boats have arrived in the community for the turbot season.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Nain to Recieve a Community Constable

Nain streets will be a little safer in the near future with the placement of a community constable.

Sarah Leo is the AngajuKak for the Nain Inuit Community Government (NICG).

She says the NICG is working with local RCMP to establish a job description for the new position.

The community constable will act as a liaison between the NICG and RCMP.

She says the community constable will enforce the NICG’s by-laws.

Unlike RCMP members who rotate in and out of the community, the community constable will be permanently stationed in Nain.

Leo says the position has been a success in other communities in Nunatsiavut.

Goose Bay Forest Fire

Crews succeeded in controlling a forest fire that started near Happy Valley-Goose Bay this morning.

The fire ignited in an area near Court Real Road.

It was reported at approximately 3AM this morning and is now under control.

The estimated size of the fire is 10 hectares, or 25 acres.

It took 1 water bomber, 2 helicopters and a 13-person ground crew to contain the fire.

There is currently no direct danger to any buildings or structures.

One concern is that the weather in Upper Lake Melville (ULM) has been very hot in the past few days.

ULM’s current forest fire index is at moderate and approaching high.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

The same area was hit with a similar forest fire last summer.

Nain Residents to Vote on Banning Alcohol

Nain residents will have the chance to cast their vote on whether or not they would like to see Nain become a dry community.

Sarah Leo is the AngajuKak for the Nain Inuit Community Government (NICG).

She says the NICG tabled a motion last night calling for a plebiscite to be held in the community.

A plebiscite allows for members of a constituency to cast their vote on a proposal by a government.

In this case, Nain residents will be given the chance to vote on whether or not they would like to see alcohol banned in the community.

The vote will take place on Monday, August 16.

Residents will be given two options: to vote yes or no on creating a dry community.

Leo says the NICG is still trying to establish the voting age for the plebiscite.

The age to vote may be the legal drinking age or the age of voting in Nunatsiavut elections.

Leo says the plebiscite wasn’t a part of the original agenda.

The item was added by one of the NICG councilors.

Leo says certain members of the NICG felt that something had to be done about the alcohol problem in Nain.

The motion was passed unanimously by the NICG.

Depending on the outcome of the vote, the NICG will determine their next step.

Riglolet Salmon Festival Events

The Rigolet Salmon Festival is now into its third day of events.

Carlene Palliser is the Recreation Director.

She says the events started on Monday August 2, with a community parade featuring the best float contest.

The evening continued on with Senior’s Night with games such as the cake walk and a 120 card game.

Last evening, the Festival offered games to the adults at the community hall.

This evening, the kids will have the chance to play some games and have some fun.

Activities for children ages 0-10 will start at 7pm at the community hall.

Tomorrow’s activities include the InoKatigekuluit Inuktitut Speak Off and a Giant Bingo.

As well as a Potluck Supper for Katimavik’s anniversary.

Friday’s events will start off with canoe races for youth 16 years of age or older and a shooting match for those over the age of 19.

The events will end with fireworks at the net loft.

And the last day of the Festival will include Fear Factor challenges and strong man/woman competitions.

The grand opening of the Kirkina Place, the safe house will also take place.

The closing of the Salmon Festival will be at 7pm, followed by fireworks and a BYOB 80’s theme dance.

So, if you’re in Rigolet, be sure to join in on the festivities.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Vale- Year Long Strike

As of Sunday, August 1, the strike between the United Steelworkers Local 9508 and Vale reached the one year mark.

Darren Cove is the President of Local 9508.

He says there has been no progress and they’re still sticking to their guns.

Cove says he met with the union members yesterday.

He says despite the situation, they are getting stronger as the days go on.

And will hold out till the very end if need be.

Goose Bay Assault and Robbery

RCMP in Happy Valley-Goose Bay received a report of an assault and robbery in the community over the weekend.

According to an RCMP press release, a man in his early 50s was robbed after 2AM while walking home.

Allegedly the attacker jumped from the bushes in the area of 23 Grenfell Street demanding money, debit and credit cards.

The victim claims to have been hit in the head and knocked unconscious.

The victim did not recover consciousness until around 6AM.

He suffered cuts and scrapes.

According to the press release, the mugger made off with a small amount of change and items of minimal value.

The RCMP is working with the victim to obtain more information.

The victim described the assailant as an Inuit man wearing a white shirt.

The RCMP is asking for any persons with information to contact either the detachment or Crime stoppers.

Vale Talks One -Year Anniversary of Strike

Vale says it is not pleased that the one-year milestone of the strike at Voisey’s Bay has been reached.

Bob Carter is the Manager of Corporate Affairs with Vale in Newfoundland and Labrador.

He says Vale would much rather have had an agreement reached by this time.

At the same time, the company would like to see an agreement in place that pleases both parties.

Carter says since the strike began, Vale has made numerous attempts to reach an agreement with the United Steelworkers Union.

The company has tabled three separate proposals, all of which have been rejected by the union.

He says that since the last round of negotiations broke off in July, there hasn’t been any positive progress in reaching an agreement.

And since that time, says Carter, the union has been sending out misinformation on the negotiation process.

Carter says all of the issues remain the same since the strike first began.

He adds that Vale doesn’t feel there has been a serious attempt by the United Steelworkers to engage in meaningful negotiations.