Northern Canada’s premier-elect to focus on child care, housing, mental health

The Nunavut premier will focus on child care, housing, mental health and education in the territory’s first government in over 20 years. Akeak says with the territory’s population at 22,000 and rising, addressing housing,…

Northern Canada's premier-elect to focus on child care, housing, mental health

The Nunavut premier will focus on child care, housing, mental health and education in the territory’s first government in over 20 years.

Akeak says with the territory’s population at 22,000 and rising, addressing housing, healthcare and infrastructure will be his first priorities, including an $8m plan to help property developers build more affordable housing units.

Nunavut leaders to propose new relationship with Canada Read more

Akeeagok told reporters the government will propose a new relationship with Canada that will provide a clearer path forward. It will take power back from the Northwest Territories as part of a constitutional debate, he added.

“We need clear communication and dialogue so we can develop options for both sides to continue to interact and develop agreements that make sense to both parties,” Akeeagok said.

It is “one of the most important decisions the people of Nunavut have ever made,” he added.

Akeeagok said the territory will also seek support to modernize its laws and clarify the responsibilities between the territories and the central government.

Akeeagok was officially elected as premier on Tuesday and said he will work closely with incoming territorial lieutenant-governor, Danish minister of national employment and the economy Tara Rohatgi.

Rohatgi is married to the territory’s health minister, Goetschel Davidine.

“She understands how challenging life is for our residents and how the mandate given to us by the people of Nunavut needs to be taken forward,” Akeeagok said.

“She understands that the territory needs support for just our social problems.”

He and his cabinet will be sworn in at 10am on Friday.

Akeeagok said Nunavut has benefited in recent years from Ottawa’s new $5.1bn health budget. Still, poverty remains a problem in most Nunavut communities.

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