Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 26, 2016 - 8:30 am

Nunavut’s deputy minister of environment quits, acting DM takes over

Gabriel Nirlungayuk leaves the GN, Simon Awa to serve as acting deputy minister

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Gabriel Nirlungayuk has quit as deputy minister of the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Environment to take a job outside government, Premier Peter Taptuna said April 25. Simon Awa will fill in as acting deputy minister. (FILE PHOTO)
Gabriel Nirlungayuk has quit as deputy minister of the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Environment to take a job outside government, Premier Peter Taptuna said April 25. Simon Awa will fill in as acting deputy minister. (FILE PHOTO)

Gabriel Nirlungayuk has quit his job as deputy minister in charge of the Government of Nunavut’s department of Environment, Premier Peter Taptuna said April 25.

“Mr. Gabriel Nirlungayuk has tendered his resignation, and has since taken another position outside of government,” Taptuna said in a news release.

At the same time, Taptuna appointed Simon Awa as acting deputy minister.

Awa is no stranger to the environment department. He served as deputy minister for most of the years between 2004 and 2010, and now serves as Nunavut’s chief negotiator for devolution.

Awa will continue to serve in the chief devolution negotiator position, Taptuna said.

The news release did not give the date of Nirlungayuk’s resignation and did not describe his new job.

Nirlungayuk has served as the environment department’s deputy minister since July 21, 2014. Prior to that appointment, he served as Director of Wildlife and Environment at Nunavut Tunngavik Inc.

“I’d like to thank Mr. Nirlungayuk for his service to the department and wish him success in his new position,” Taptuna said.

The GN’s environment department found itself at the centre of a political controversy last month, when the department revealed that it had changed its position on the creation of protected areas for caribou calving grounds within the draft Nunavut Land Use Plan.

At a technical hearing held by the Nunavut Planning Commission March 7 in Iqaluit, the GN’s environment department, was represented by its assistant deputy minister, Stephen Pinksen, who made an oral presentation only.

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