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What Nunavut's MP doesn’t know about poverty in her riding but the auditor general found out

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Feeding My Family Facebook Group

August 16, 2013 - 6:42 am

Photo: Feeding my Family holds Iqaluit food protest Aug. 15
DAVID MURPHY 16 Aug 2013 ...Leesee Papatsie (right) cheers on honking cars opposite the Northmart in Iqaluit Aug. 15. Last year, the group "Feeding My Family," created by Papatsie, first raised the issue of food insecurity in the North and held protests in Nunavut and Ottawa. This year, about a dozen people turned out for the Aug. 15 Iqaluit demonstration. "The protest is to show that we the people in Nunavut are asking for a change, because it is time for change," Isreal Mablick said on the group's Facebook page. Look for what people had to say about the protest later on Nunatsiaqonline.ca

 Reports to Parliament
    2014 Fall Report of the Auditor General of Canada
    Chapter 6—Nutrition North Canada—Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    Full Report
    Audit at a Glance

Feeding my subsidy: Ottawa spends more on Nutrition North
AAND adds $11.3 million to 2014-2015 subsidy, in advance of Auditor General’s report
21 Nov 2014 ... Take Feeding My Family. That same small group stands around for one day every summer looking stupid in front of the Northmart store but not ...

“What are Northerners and Canadians being fed about Nutrition North? » APTN National News”
“The Nation to Nation political panel also tackles the issue.”
“…Nation to Nation  Canada’s auditor general released a scathing review of the Nutrition North program. It’s the subsidy program that replaced the old food mail program. But according to Michael Ferguson, the government doesn’t know if it’s working. ”

Leona Aglukkaq considers legal action against Rankin Inlet deputy mayor
Environment minister denies demanding an apology over criticism of Nutrition North program…” CBC News Posted: Nov 28, 2014 3:18 PM ET “… "The deputy mayor’s claims about this conversation are completely false. I am currently reviewing all of my legal options," Aglukkaq said on Friday. … Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq says she is considering all legal options after the deputy mayor of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, said she demanded an apology from him for making disparaging remarks about the federal Nutrition North program.
News reports this week quoted Rankin Inlet Deputy Mayor Sam Tutanuak as saying high grocery prices have forced dozens of the community's residents to scavenge for food at the local landfill….”

Leona Aglukkaq Reacts To APTN's Northern Food Crisis Story, Calls Claims 'Completely False'
Posted: 11/28/2014 3:33 pm EST
"...HuffPost made a request for comment to Tutanuak, but he was unavailable Friday. APTN Executive Director of News and Current Affairs Karyn Pugliese said in an email the broadcaster has “no plans at this time to publish a correction.”
Pugliese explained their report on the allegations about an apology request stems from information given to them by Tutanuak on Thursday. Efforts were made to reach the minister to verify the claim, but Aglukkaq was not available to confirm or deny it.
“We duly reported that fact on our show,” Pugliese said.
On Wednesday, opposition leader Thomas Mulcair criticized the government’s “abysmal management” of Nutrition North following a scathing report by Auditor General Michael Ferguson of the food program.
“Families in Rankin Inlet were foraging for food in the town dump,” said Mulcair. “Does the prime minister not feel any shame that families in the north are getting their food from the town dump?”
After question period, Aglukkaq was criticized by several MPs for heckling “that’s not true” during Mulcair’s comments. Aglukkaq’s spokesperson denied the minister ever said those three words, calling them “false.” But NDP’s Aboriginal Affairs critic Jean Crowder confirmed to HuffPost she heard Aglukkaq say the remark several times. ..."

On the streets of Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet’s food troubles ring true
National News | 28. Nov, 2014 by APTN National News
“…On the streets of Iqaluit, Nutrition North and the Rankin Inlet dump are the talk of the town.
APTN’s Kent Driscoll on how the latest series of revelations and allegations involving Nunavut MP Leona Aglukkaq, the deputy mayor of Rankin Inlet and images of people in the community searching for food in the dump are playing out on the streets of Nunavut’s capital….”

Nunavut's Feeding My Family calls for Aug. 15 food price protest
6 Aug 2013 ... A small group of protesters gather outside the Northmart store in Iqaluit on August 25, 2012 — the last time that the Feeding My Family group ...

“Feeding My Family” goes viral after June 9 protest
12 Jun 2012 ... Leesee Papatsie at the June 9 food price demonstration in Iqaluit. Her Facebook group, “Feeding My Family” listed 19,000 members as of June ...

Feeding My Family group takes aim at expired food
11 Jun 2014 ... Members of Nunavut's Feeding my Family movement are trying to bring the issue of expired food to the forefront, with an event planned i

Facebook group plans food price protests
North West Company says Saturday will be business as usual at its stores
CBC News Posted: Jun 09, 2012 8:52 AM CT Last Updated: Jun 09, 2012 3:56 PM CT
“…Leesee Papatsie of Iqaluit started the Feeding My Family group about two weeks ago, and there are now more than 12,000 members. Many are posting photos of the food prices from the shelves of their local stores.
Papatsie said the response is humbling, scary and amazing.
While some members are targeting retailers, like the North West Company, in their posts, Papatsie has her eye somewhere else.
"My main target is [getting] other Nunavummiut to stand up," she said. "That's my main target. Because this is not [the] Inuit traditional way of doing things.” …”

Nunavut’s Feeding My Family teaches education for empowerment
“We need to be teaching ourselves to move forward"
22 Apr 2013 ... Leesee Papatsie of Iqaluit started the Feeding My Family Facebook page one year ago and watched it grow to nearly 20,000 members, many ...

Feeding my Family plans Aug. 25 food protest in Nunavut
"We have to find a way to stop this high cost of food in Nunavut”
24 Aug 2012 ... Fed up with the high cost of food in Nunavut? Another Nunavut-wide food price protest is planned for Aug. 25 by the Feeding My Family group.

After nearly one year, Nunavut’s Feeding My Family movement thrives
"We have come together to work together to fight hunger"
NUNATSIAQ NEWS 23 May 2013 ... This display of pricey juice in a Nunavut store was recently posted on the Feeding My Family Facebook page. Nearly one year and about ...

Feeding My Family group asks Baffinland for help
“The ships are designed specifically for hauling iron-ore”
23 Jul 2012 ... Leesee Papatsie, founder of the Feeding My Family Facebook page and website, asked Baffinland Iron Mines Corp. if they are willing to help …

National recognition keeps fight alive for Nunavut food activist
Feeding My Family volunteers face backlash from store owners
3 Feb 2014 ... Feeding My Family encouraged people to raise awareness of the cost of food, and it's where the idea of food protests in Nunavut originated.

Leesee Papatsie used social media site to organize protests and raise awareness about food prices CBC News Posted: Sep 04, 2012 10:58 AM CT Last Updated: Sep 04, 2012 12:01 PM CT
“… An Iqaluit woman is being recognized by Facebook for her effective use of the site.
A Facebook team was in Iqaluit this past weekend to interview Leesee Papatsie, who created the group ‘Feeding My Family’.
Papatsie used the group to organize protests against the high cost of food in Nunavut. One protest took place as recently as last week in Pond Inlet. The group also garnered more than 21,000 members in its short life span.
Facebook headquarters took notice and will feature a story about Papatsie and the group. It’s part of the company’s new initiative called Facebook Stories which was launched this month.
The initiative is an editorial site which features people who use the site in extraordinary ways.
Allie Townsend, an editor at Facebook Stories, travelled to Iqaluit from San Francisco to interview Papatsie and learn more about high food prices in this month’s edition. The theme this month is ‘Degrees of Separation’.
"One of the reasons why there are high food prices is because of the distance from communities up here in Nunavut and the rest of Canada," said Townsend. …”

In Nunavut’s most northerly community, people protest Aug. 25 against high food costs
“We were there to make a point”
28 Aug 2012 ..Fair food prices for all Canadians: that’s the message Grise Fiord residents conveyed during their second food price protest, held Aug. 25. …. bearing slogans such as: “High Arctic: high food costs, high freight costs, high travel costs: paying the price for Canadian sovereignty,” and “Canada’s Arctic flagpoles need affordable food.”
The point of the peaceful protest at the airport was to draw attention to all of the issues surrounding high transportation costs, Grise Fiord’s Larry Audlaluk said …”

Ottawa group plans Aug. 18 protest against high food costs in Nunavut
“We’re still going to keep at it until we see changes"
SAMANTHA DAWSON 10 Aug 2012 ... Tagornak and her fellow protesters take direction from the Nunavut Feeding My Family Facebook group. “We're the voice for our families in ...

 Nunavut anti-poverty team eye “Feeding My Family”
“That Facebook page is a bit of a milestone and it’s inspired a lot of people” 18 Jun 2012 ... Nunavut's anti-poverty secretariat is looking at Leesee Papatsie's “Feeding my family” Facebook page, which now lists more than 21,000 ...
“…“Most people think that Facebook page is a bit of a milestone and it’s inspired a lot of people,” said Ed McKenna, the director of the Nunavut Anti-poverty secretariat.
The efforts of Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty to reduce poverty in the territory could use as much support, discussion and attention, he said.
“We really need to strengthen the network on a big public issue like this and involve the communities in Nunavut,” said McKenna.
The Facebook page for the Nunavut Roundtable for Poverty has only about 150 “likes.”
The secretariat plans to redo its website so it’s more interactive and make more use of social media, McKenna said, with the goal of moving the Makimaniq plan forward. …” 

Nunavut food coalition gets up and running - Feeding My Family makes big presentation
SAMANTHA DAWSON 29 Jun 2012 ... According to the “Feeding My Family” website, a spin-off of the successful Facebook page, the group is “about bringing awareness to the rest of ...
“…According to the “Feeding My Family” website, a spin-off of the successful Facebook page, the group is “about bringing awareness to the rest of Canada and the world about the living conditions in Canada’s newest territory.”
The site goes on to say that “we now find ourselves balancing that relationship between two worlds. As proud Canadians it disheartens us that an estimated 70 per cent of Inuit homes with school age children find themselves food insecure.”
Organizers Leesee Papatsie and Leetia Janes, who were invited to and attended the morning meeting, spoke for more than an hour, going over their scheduled half-hour time.
“We tried to capture everything this group has shared. I hope Leetia and I properly represented you guys. I would like feedback on what we might have missed and how we are able to properly represent you,” Papatsie posted on the “Feeding my Family” Facebook wall.
Their presentation included ideas for next steps: working with partners, ensuring people’s voices are heard, having more protests, presenting and promoting viable short and long-term solutions to food insecurity, creating a donation fund, making sure the Nutrition North program works for the people not the private sector, and being part of the coalition.
They also touched on wanting better competition and more options for suppliers in order for the mail order programs to work.
The women noted that they will keep the momentum going. There are no easy fixes, but they said they believe there could be a better system in Nunavut.
“We have heard from Nunavummiut across the territory that food insecurity is a problem that needs to be addressed,” Peter Taptuna, minister of economic development and transportation said in a June 28 news release.
“I am pleased that the first meeting to create the Nunavut Food Security Coalition was a success and the partners are moving forward collaboratively.” …”

Nunavut food protesters remain determined
“Our generation is educated, and I don’t think they’re just going to [stand] by and take it"
27 Aug 2012 ... “We are doing this for people because it's going to get more expensive,” said one of the organizers of the Feeding My Family Facebook group …. “We are doing this for people because it’s going to get more expensive,” said one of the organizers of the Feeding My Family Facebook group and website, Leetia Janes. “When our subsidy is done, we’re going to have to order our own food if we want to be subsidized.”
After October 2012, rice, pasta, canned food, condiments, coffee, tea, hygienic and infant care products will no longer be eligible for subsidies.
Any changes to Nutrition North will affect a lot of people, she said, “especially people on social assistance and elders and children.”
The majority of them cannot buy healthy food because it is too expensive, she said.
“People will notice a big difference in prices very soon,” Janes said.
But it’s doubtful that the protests in Nunavut will fizzle out, she said.  The purpose of the protests remains raising awareness about the high cost of food among people who live in the territory and those who live in the rest of Canada….”

Nunavut Food Prices: Poverty, High Costs Of Northern Businesses Leave Some Inuit Unable To Cope With Expenses The Huffington Post Canada  | By Lauren Strapagiel
Posted: 06/11/2012 6:24 pm EDT
“…Contrary to the myth, living in the North doesn’t guarantee high wages. Inuit living in the territories make far less than non-Aboriginals in the same region — about $43,378 less. Within Inuit Nunangat, the traditional Inuit homeland, non-Aboriginals made an average of $50,128 according to 2005 Statistics Canada numbers. For Inuit, it was only $16,669.
For many that means living pay cheque to pay cheque, or in some cases welfare cheque to welfare cheque. And with grocery prices what they are, feeding one’s family comes before paying the bills, if a family can afford to eat at all.
Nunavut also has Canada’s youngest population with an average age of 24. Much of the population is too young to not wear diapers, let alone contribute to family income….”

Nunavut demonstrators gather to protest food prices, poverty
“I struggle from cheque to cheque” JIM BELL
9 Jun 2012 ... On June 9, demonstrators used the Feeding My Family page to organize protest events in Arctic Bay, Grise Fiord, Clyde River, Pond Inlet, ...
“…It didn’t take much to get Newkinga Nakashook, 33, to show up for the food price protest held June 9 across the road from the hated Iqaluit Northmart store.
Living on the $320 a month’s worth of social assistance loaded onto his North West Co. Cash Link debit card makes that an easy decision.
“As soon as you get the money you buy four or five bags [of groceries] and it’s all gone,” Nakashook said.
When he runs out of food, Nakashook heads to the Iqaluit food bank when it opens every two weeks. Or he panhandles. Some days, he doesn’t eat.
So in spite of a chilling snow squall, he and about 50 other Iqaluit residents gathered, marched and cheered each other on for nearly two hours.
They’re part of a swelling movement in Nunavut led by regular people who can no longer abide the territory’s unbearable cost of living….”

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