Mining a Better Future – Policies to Address Labour Force Adaptation Concerns and the Impacts of Resource Development on Isolated Communities in Nunavut
Principal Investigator: Goelman, Nadav (1)
Licence Number: 15365
Organization: School of Public Policy: Simon Fraser University
Licensed Year(s): 2013
Issued: Nov 26, 2013
Project Team: Nadav Goelman, Dr. Nancy Olewiler

Objective(s): To develop a roadmap of policy and programming to encourage labour force adaptation, and healthy community development in Nunavut.

Project Description: The goal of this project is to develop a roadmap of policy and programming to encourage labour force adaptation, and healthy community development in Nunavut with research objectives being to: 1) pinpoint areas of potential risk to regional communities from economic development; 2) delineate between programs and policy options that advance adaptation and those that mitigate the adverse side effects from economic development; 3) compare and contrast relative costs and challenges inherent in identified options; and 4) make practical recommendations for a policy/programming mix that more effectively ensures healthy labour force adaptation in Nunavut.

The two major components are elite interviews and case studies. The sections below outline the goals, objectives and rationales for each.

Case Studies:
Three to five case studies, including the primary case study (Baker Lake-Meadowbank), will examine challenges and opportunities for communities bearing impacts of resource development. Case studies will seek to identify existing programs and policies currently addressing regional labour force adaptation. Gathering and analyzing data, from each case study, pertaining to trends in crime, housing, income, employment, unemployment, food security, nutrition, substance abuse and other socio-economic indicators will provide basis for better understanding of the situation in Nunavut. The analytical goals are to quantify and qualify real and perceived effects of economic development for these and other communities, and to identify policy gaps and shortcomings in existing approaches to labour force adaptation and the mitigation of correlated side effects.

Rationale for Case Study Selection:
The Meadowbank case study forms the basis for the research. The two to four remaining cases will be selected using criteria including: 1) remote/isolated communities; 2) aboriginal/indigenous communities; 3) aboriginal/indigenous employment; and 4) resource extractives development.

Data for each case study will be found through published documents where possible. Data will be requested from organizations with expertise in the other case studies as needed. A Data Request Form will be sent, in the chosen language of the recipient, to each organization informing them about the project and its intentions and requesting access to the dataset. A Data Request Letter, and/or a phone call, using a script will be used to contact organizations with desired data. They will be informed, in the Data Request Form, that no data will be used without their consent, and that information from data will be used to 1) articulate the implications of economic development on communities in Nunavut; 2) compare and contrast effectiveness of existing policies and programs on labour force adaptation in communities in Nunavut; 3) inform a new policy roadmap enhancing benefits and reducing costs to communities and people in Nunavut; and 4) inform a public policy master’s research project on labour force adaptation in Nunavut.

Elite Interviews:
The in-depth interviews will all be conducted over the phone, or through email, Skype, FaceTime or other electronic means. Rationale for using interviews is to complement and reinforce what is learned in literature and offer contemporary perspectives on the issues, costs, benefits and tradeoffs for available policy solutions. Semi-structured interviews will be used to permit flexible discussion and two-way communication. Objectives are to identify previously unknown policy options, barriers, opportunities, motivations and other considerations impacting labour force adaptation and the effects of resource development on Nunavut’s isolated communities.

Recruitment of Participants for Interviews:
Experts in the subject matter will be selected as interviewees including: policy makers, academics, members of the private sector, police officers, medical professionals, mental health workers and school administrators. CanNor personnel will help identify experts, while others will be found through public service directories, university faculty directories, organizations’ websites and personal contacts. The principal researcher will contact experts, in the chosen language of the recipient, by phone or email to request that they participate in a semi-structured interview.. The principal researcher will email a list of question topics to those saying “yes” before the interview. This is to inform interviewees about the nature of some topics they should expect and to help them prepare if they choose. Interview participants will be asked to give their consent in different ways depending on the interview medium. For interviews that are:

• Telephone: the principal researcher will read the Consent Form and accept verbal consent
• Email/Skype: the principal researcher will email the Consent Form and accept returned scanned/written consent

The principal researcher plans to interview local public servants and representatives from local private sector organizations.

This project will be published through the Simon Fraser University library. All those wanting to see results may obtain a copy of the study from the library or by requesting a copy from the principal researcher personally.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from November 21, 2013 to December 31, 2013.