Nunavut Premier Taptuna starts the summer with a cabinet shake-up
Health, Environment and Family Services have new ministers
Premier Peter Taptuna announced a shake-up in his cabinet this week, in a move to “reinvigorate” the territory’s executive council, the premier said June 17.
One of Nunavut’s major portfolios – Health – goes to Iqaluit-Tasiluk MLA George Hickes, who is now also responsible for Nunavut’s suicide prevention file.
Former health and justice minister Paul Okalik freed up that portfolio this past spring, when he quit cabinet in opposition to the territory’s plans to open a beer and wine store.
Monica Ell-Kanayuk held the health and suicide prevention file in the interim.
Ell-Kanayuk maintains Nunavut’s business-related files as minister of Economic Development and Transportation, minister responsible for Mines, for the Nunavut Business Credit Corp., for the Nunavut Development Corp., the Utility Rates Review Council and as the only woman on cabinet, minister responsible for the Status of Women
In addition to Finance, Cambridge Bay MLA Keith Peterson takes on the Justice portfolio. Peterson stays on as minister responsible for the Nunavut Liquor Commission, the Human Rights Tribunal, the Labour Standards Board and the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission.
Arviat North MLA George Kuksuk, now back at work after a health leave, keeps the Culture and Heritage file, while being assigned as minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation.
Pangnirtung MLA Johnny Mike is now shuffled to a number of Kuksuk’s previous responsibilities; as minister responsible for Family Services, Poverty Reduction and Homelessness. Mike will now oversee Qulliq Energy Corp.
Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq takes on Mike’s previous role as minister of Environment. Savikataaq will stay on as minister of Community and Government Services, as minister of Energy Nunavut, and chair of the Hudson Bay Roundtable.
Aggu MLA Paul Quassa stays on as minister of Education and minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College, while Premier Taptuna remains minister of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs.
“After working with our new ministers and observing the distinct strengths of each member of cabinet, I have reassigned portfolios to renew energy and reinvigorate collaboration,” Taptuna said in a June 17 release.
The changes to cabinet are effective June 24.