Nunavut premier divvies up out-going minister’s files
Monica Ell-Kanayuk will take on health, Keith Peterson gets justice
In the wake of Paul Okalik’s resignation from the Nunavut cabinet March 4, Premier Peter Taptuna has now reassigned the Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA’s portfolios to a pair of veteran ministers.
Deputy Premier Monica Ell-Kanayuk — already minister of economic development and transportation and the minister responsible for other files including Energy and Status of Women — will take over as minister of health and the minister responsible for suicide prevention, said a March 7 news release from the premier.
Finance Minister Keith Peterson will take over the justice department as well as take responsibility for the Human Rights Tribunal and the Labour Standards Board.
Peterson is already responsible for the Nunavut Liquor Commission, the Liquor Licensing Board and the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission.
“Both ministers have my full confidence and have a solid understanding of the portfolios,” said Taptuna, in the news release.
“We have a duty to remain committed to our constituents and to see that this government continues to achieve actions set out under our mandate — Sivumut Abluqta.”
Taptuna himself will take over Okalik’s remaining file as minister responsible for Immigration.
Okalik surprised many Nunavummiut on Friday when he stood up in the house and said he could no longer serve Nunavut’s cabinet in light of its support for a beer and wine store pilot project in Iqaluit.
This despite his constituents voting overwhelmingly in favour of the store last April.
Okalik will continue to sit as a regular MLA.