Bill 37 dead?


The committee reviewing the controversial Bill 37 to amend the Education Act and the Inuit Language Protection Act will recommend it be dropped.“When the House reconvenes for its spring sitting, the standing committee will formally recommend that Bill 37 … not proceed further in the legislative process,” announced Tom Sammurtok, chairperson for the Standing Committee on Legislation, on May 5.

The committee took a short two weeks to arrive at its conclusion. The deadline for public comments was April 21.

Among the many concerns expressed to Nunavut News/North as the bill passed two readings in the Legislative Assembly, the standout was the right of Inuit children to be educated in their language. Bill 37 deferred that right for Grades 4 to 9 by a decade and indefinitely for higher grades.

“Given the overwhelming lack of consensus in support of the bill in such areas as language of instruction, the role of District Education Authorities and increased employment of Inuit teachers, the standing committee is of the view that it should be allowed to fall off the order paper when the current assembly dissolves later this year,” stated Sammurtok.

All submissions from the public will be tabled and made public when the Legislative Assembly reconvenes.

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Michele LeTourneau first arrived at NNSL's headquarters in Yellowknife in1998, with a BA honours in Theatre. For four years she documented the arts across the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Following a very short stint as a communications officer with the Government of the Northwest Territories, Michele spent a decade at a community-based environmental monitoring board in the mining industry, where she worked with Inuit, Chipewyan, Tlicho, Yellowknives Dene and Metis elders to help develop traditional knowledge and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit contributions for monitoring and management plans. She rejoined NNSL and moved to Iqaluit in May 2014 to write for Nunavut News. Michele has received a dozen awards for her work with NNSL.