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Government of Nunavut funding for the Nunavummi Makinnasuaqtiit Society, which assists those with disabilities, remains static at $100,000 but it should be increased, Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk said in the legislative assembly on Tuesday.

“It seems that we are forgetting about our constituents who face these challenges, as we are largely silent in this House,” Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk said of those with disabilities.
photo courtesy of the legislative assembly

“I rise today to advocate on behalf of people with physical disabilities, people with prosthetic arms and legs, patients in wheelchairs since they can’t walk independently, or those who require electric scooters or walkers. It seems that we are forgetting about our constituents who face these challenges, as we are largely silent in this House,” Kaernerk said. “In my opinion, they too need to be represented, as they form part of our constituency as they are also part of the voting public, and perhaps a few voted in the
belief that they would receive proper representation.”

Capital projects in Nunavut’s communities should take into consideration people with special needs, Kaernerk argued. Those communities lack paved roads and concrete sidewalks that are found in southern centres, he noted. Some people with disabilities cannot afford to purchase a vehicle to help them get around, he added.

“If they were to try to purchase a vehicle, it can also really impact the disabled person’s life. It also
impacts their relatives, their older siblings, their parents, if alive, as their needs impact the
whole family,” he said.

David Akeeagok, acting minister of Family Services, agreed that more funding for the Nunavummi Makinnasuaqtiit Society would be fitting.

“I believe that they should receive further assistance,” he said, but noted that this year’s budget is already set. “When the funds become available again, if it’s not prominent enough, we will try to
promote it further.”

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...

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