Nunavut MLA delivers short apology in the territorial assembly
"I promise to be more conscientious"
South Baffin MLA Fred Schell delivered a short apology Feb. 28 in the Nunavut legislature for having breached the territory’s Integrity Act.
Schell told Government of Nunavut ministers and regular MLAs that he accepts Integrity Commissioner Norman Pickell’s report on Schell’s conduct, tabled during the fall sitting in October, in which Pickell found Schell had breached Nunavut’s Integrity Act six times.
“I would like to acknowledge that I personally accepted the Integrity Commissioner’s report in November 2012,” Schell said.
“At this time, I would like to extend my sincere apologies to my peers, colleagues, and all of my constituents from Cape Dorset, Kimmirut, and all Nunavummiut. I am sorry for my wrongful conduct laid out in the Integrity Commissioner’s report. I have met with the elders and discussed my conduct as a Member of the Legislative Assembly. In the future, I promise to be more conscientious and faithful in fulfilling my commitments under the Integrity Act.”
Pickell found that Schell breached the act in the following ways:
• a private conversation that he initiated with the president and chief executive officer of the Nunavut Housing Corp., in which Schell vented about NHC contractors staying in a Cape Dorset hotel owned by Huit-Huit Tours, which competes with a hotel owned by his company, Polar Supplies Ltd.;
• while minister responsible for the housing corporation, Schell telephoned a Nunavut Housing Corp. staff housing manager about overdue rent on a house that Schell rents to the NHC, putting himself in a conflict of interest;
• abusing his ministerial authority by making inappropriate inquiries about a Government of Nunavut employee, Arthur Stewart, against whom he held a grudge;
• abusing his ministerial authority by making inappropriate inquiries about a GN employee, Shawn Maley, who had run for hamlet council in Rankin Inlet;
• breaching six “general provisions” of the Integrity Act; and,
• giving false evidence under oath about his relationship with Arthur Stewart.
The report said Schell had to pay a $10,000 fine, make a variety of apologies and meet with elders to discuss his conduct.