Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada (c) 2008 Anthony Speca

Making Nunavut a full partner in Canadian Confederation

Following an appearance at The Wilson Center in DC this past summer, where I joined a panel discussing human security and development in the Arctic, I was invited to write a policy brief summarising my remarks about Nunavut.

I’m pleased to say that The Wilson Center’s Polar Initiative has just published this brief, entitled “Making Nunavut a full partner in Canadian Confederation”. In the brief I make the following policy recommendations for Canada’s new Trudeau government:

  • Canada should match its political vision for Nunavut — as a socially healthy and economically vibrant partner in Canadian Confederation — with a long-term fiscal roadmap for achieving true human security and development there. Without this fiscal commitment, the political vision cannot be achieved.
  • In particular, Canada should urgently undertake a systematic assessment of the true cost of providing adequate public services in Nunavut, including the necessary infrastructural base to improve living standards and boost business investment and activity. Canada should then recalibrate its fiscal support for Nunavut on the basis of that assessment.
  • Canada should also devolve control of public lands and resources to Nunavut as soon as possible, including a meaningful share of the royalties generated.

Read the full brief on The Wilson Center’s website. For more of the same, see my 2012 Northern Public Affairs article, “Political vision and fiscal reality in Canada’s North“.