Statement made on 28 April 2010 by Senator Nick Sibbeston
Hon. Nick G. Sibbeston:
Honourable senators, I believe the situation in the North requires the attention of the Leader of the Government in the Senate and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. This issue has to do with the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
Fifteen months ago the government provided money in Budget 2009 to set up the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. This is much like the Western Economic Diversification program and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
Ten months ago, when the government announced that the agency would have its headquarters in Iqaluit, the people in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories were concerned that a regional agency was being set up so far east. As of today, the majority of the staff for the agency is located in Ottawa. There seems to be a reluctance or inability of people to move to Iqaluit.
Can the government leader see what she can do, first, to rectify the situation by undoing the mistake of establishing the headquarters in Iqaluit and setting it up somewhere that is more central, such as Yellowknife; and second, to get the staff out of Ottawa and into the North?
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