Northern Public Affairs

Northern Newsstand: March 5, 2012

Editor’s Note: Northern Newsstand presents a weekly round-up of policy relevant stories from across the North.
This week saw a deadly fire in Iqaluit’s Creekside Village. The blaze started at 10 pm Sunday. Minus 50 degree tempreatures hampered firefighters efforts to contain the fire. Approximately 90 people have lost their homes, many of them students at Nunavut Arctic College. This is a signifcant blow to a community already facing a critical housing shortage. Iqaluit city councillors have now expressed concern about the safety of the city’s other old buildings. Monetary donations are being collected by the Red Cross.
The mayor of Hay River has resigned. Kelly Schofield cites a breach of confidentiality, lack of support on council, and the misuse of municipal funds. Schofield said in a statement to the CBC: “I’m not accusing anybody of stealing, by any means, but I am accusing the administration of mishandling public funds by doing things their way without approval or consent or even acknowledgement from council, which is a very big step in the municipal process that is being overlooked and is being abused.” More reaction here and here.
A Fort Smith woman has filed a human rights complaint against Northwest Territories Finance Minister Michael Miltenberger. Gabrielle Landrie alleges the minister asked her to leave the Aurora College campus during a visit by the Governor General in December because she is transgender. The human rights commission has until March 16 to decide whether to investigate or dismiss the complaint.
Following Purdue Pharma’s decision to pull OxyCotin from the Canadian market, the Yukon Government is discussing the creation of an ehealth system. The Whitehorse Star is reporting that “the government is considering the development of an ehealth system, which would centralize prescription information, from doctors and pharmacists, in a central data-base, which could be referenced by health care providers.” Based on databases in British Columbia and Alberta, the record system could help prevent prescription forgery and “doctor shopping.”
On a happy note, the Arctic Winter Games 2012 open in Whitehorse this Sunday. Follow all the action and results on YouTube and Twitter.

Photo credit: “DSC_0065” © 2012 serafini, used under a Creative Commons license.

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