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Addressing the Cost of Living in Nunavut Discussion Paper April 2003

Addressing the Cost of Living in Nunavut Discussion Paper April 2003

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Published by George Lessard
Addressing the Cost of Living in Nunavut Discussion Paper Four
Prepared for the Nunavut Employees Union
By: Alison Rogan
April 2003
[excerpt]
• In Nunavut, households spend 84% more on groceries than they do in Southern Canada.
• Households spend twice as much of total household expenditures on food in Nunavut compared to the rest of Canada. This is because household incomes are lower on average and prices are higher.
• Higher expenditures on food are a result of the cost to ship and store food items, and because households are larger.
• Private housing, whether in the form of home ownership or private rental agreements, costs 31% more than in Southern Canada.
• Nunavummiut spend double what southern Canadians do on heat, electricity and water. This is a result of the higher costs of fuel, electricity and water, and also because Nunavut is colder and darker than most other parts of Canada.
• While Nunavut households spend about the same amount on telephone and internet communications as southern Canadian households, they get much less service for their dollar .
• Nunavut households spend 43% more on child care services than southern Canadian households because the population is younger.
• Expenditures on household supplies like toilet paper and cleaning materials are 84% higher in Nunavut than in southern Canada because of shipping and storage costs, and because households are larger.
• Nunavut households spend six (6) times more on diapers than southern Canadian households. Again, this is a result of the very young population of Nunavut.
• More is spent on children’s clothing and accessories in Nunavut than in Southern Canada, but less is spent on adult clothing
Addressing the Cost of Living in Nunavut Discussion Paper Four
Prepared for the Nunavut Employees Union
By: Alison Rogan
April 2003
[excerpt]
• In Nunavut, households spend 84% more on groceries than they do in Southern Canada.
• Households spend twice as much of total household expenditures on food in Nunavut compared to the rest of Canada. This is because household incomes are lower on average and prices are higher.
• Higher expenditures on food are a result of the cost to ship and store food items, and because households are larger.
• Private housing, whether in the form of home ownership or private rental agreements, costs 31% more than in Southern Canada.
• Nunavummiut spend double what southern Canadians do on heat, electricity and water. This is a result of the higher costs of fuel, electricity and water, and also because Nunavut is colder and darker than most other parts of Canada.
• While Nunavut households spend about the same amount on telephone and internet communications as southern Canadian households, they get much less service for their dollar .
• Nunavut households spend 43% more on child care services than southern Canadian households because the population is younger.
• Expenditures on household supplies like toilet paper and cleaning materials are 84% higher in Nunavut than in southern Canada because of shipping and storage costs, and because households are larger.
• Nunavut households spend six (6) times more on diapers than southern Canadian households. Again, this is a result of the very young population of Nunavut.
• More is spent on children’s clothing and accessories in Nunavut than in Southern Canada, but less is spent on adult clothing

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Published by: George Lessard on Oct 28, 2012
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09/28/2013

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On April 1, 2003, the 2000-2003 Collective
Agreement between the Government of
Nunavut, and the Nunavut Employees Union
expired. This was the first Collective
Agreement developed between employees
and their representatives the Nunavut
Employees Union, and the newly formed
Government of Nunavut as the Employer.

Both the Nunavut Employees Union and the
Government of Nunavut are committed to
improving the quality, promote the well-being
and increase the productivity of Government
of Nunavut employees so that Nunavut
citizens and organizations are served in the
best way possible. Further, both parties
recognize the need to implement the Nunavut
Land Claims Agreement and address the
needs of Inuit with respect to the protection
of culture, way of life and language. The
Collective Agreement is one tool to meet
these objectives.

The Collective Agreement is designed to
maintain good and mutually beneficial
relationships between the Government of
Nunavut and its employees, to clearly set out
the terms and conditions of employment, and
ensure the health and safety of employees.

The Nunavut Employees Union is committed
to ensure that the terms and conditions of
employment for the employees it represent
meet their needs and aspirations.

To this end, it contracted Alison Rogan to
research the major issues that Government of
Nunavut employees face, and develop specific
positions that address these issues. This
work is published in a series of discussion
papers.

This discussion paper addresses the section of
the Collective Agreement that deals with the
higher cost of living in Nunavut, commonly
known as the “Nunavut Northern Allowance”.

A broad approach was taken for this paper,
beginning with an overview of the
equalization concept and why it is necessary
in Nunavut.

This is followed by an analysis of Nunavut
household spending patterns, which reflect

the unique demographics, environment and
organizational capacity of Nunavut, and
provides a clear indication of what should be
included in a cost of living equalization
payment.

Based on the spending patterns of Nunavut
households, specific items were identified as
requiring a cost of living adjustment. The
cost to purchase identified goods or services
in Nunavut was compared directly to the cost
of purchasing the same things in Southern
Canada. The difference in costs, called
“factor costs” are added together to produce
the position of the Nunavut Employees
Union’s on an appropriate equalization
payment to offset the higher cost of living in
Nunavut.

The higher costs of living were then compared
to the equalization payments made by the
Government of Nunavut, Government of
Canada and Nunavut Tunngavik for a sense of
overall context and appropriateness.

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