Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut June 12, 2018 - 3:25 pm

Nunavut MLAs seek Quassa’s removal from premier’s job

"It’s a non-confidence motion, so I think it speaks for itself"

John Main, chair of the caucus of regular MLAs, stands in the foyer of the Nunavut legislature on June 12, shortly after making a notice of motion that would topple Paul Quassa's premiership. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)
John Main, chair of the caucus of regular MLAs, stands in the foyer of the Nunavut legislature on June 12, shortly after making a notice of motion that would topple Paul Quassa's premiership. (PHOTO BY JANE GEORGE)

Nunavut’s MLAs will debate whether to remove Paul Quassa from his role as premier on Thursday, following a non-confidence motion tabled today by John Main, the chair of the caucus of regular MLAs.

“Therefore I move, seconded by the honourable member for Gjoa Haven, that the honourable member for Aggu be removed from the executive council of Nunavut,” said the notice of motion raised by Main, shortly after the legislature convened on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m.

Shortly after making his notice of motion, Main met with reporters in the foyer of the legislature.

There, he emphasized that he had brought the motion, seconded by Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak, on behalf of all 13 members of the caucus of regular MLAs.

Main said he couldn’t specify what prompted the motion, but he said “it’s a non-confidence motion, so I think it speaks for itself.”

Neither did Main want to speculate on the debate, during which he said the motion would be “considered carefully,” or how the vote would go.

“We’ll see that on Thursday at the latest,” Main said. “If I had a crystal ball, I could tell you how it will go.”

Main, who was elected last November to represent the riding of Arviat North-Whale Cove, describes himself as a “rookie” MLA.

But he said he’s not worried about the impact of his exceptional motion.

“Whether that makes me a lightning rod as chair of the regular members caucus, I don’t know. That remains to be seen,” Main said.

The motion will be debated, as part of the legislature’s orders of the day, on Thursday, June 14, said John Quirke, the clerk of the legislative assembly.

After the debate, a registered vote by name will be recorded. A simple majority in favour of the motion could be enough to see Quassa removed from cabinet, or the result could see his leadership reaffirmed.

If the motion is adopted, then a leadership forum to select a new premier would follow, Quirke said.

Not counting the Speaker, there are 21 votes at stake: 13 MLAs, and eight ministers. Speaker Joe Enook will vote only in case of a tie.

Main had initially tried to make his notice of motion on Monday, but delayed that after Enook refused Main’s request for a break before heading into committee of the whole.

Although mid-term reviews of every territorial government take place, today’s motion is the first of its kind to be raised by any MLA about a sitting premier since the creation of Nunavut in 1999.

In 2007, there was a call—but not a motion—for Premier Paul Okalik’s resignation over behaviour that Okalik admitted was “inexcusable.”

And in 2014, regular MLAs took a long time before voting to remove Uqqummiut MLA Samuel Nuqingaq, after he had earlier been suspended by his fellow members and had admitted to substance abuse problems.

The current crop of regular MLAs, by comparison, have been quicker to raise their frustrations, over the lack of support by Quassa’s government for the Grays Bay Road and Port project and an elder-care facility in Kugluktuk.

The regular MLAs have repeatedly gone after Quassa for his government’s spending at the Northern Lights Trade Show and Conference in Ottawa in late January.

Earlier in this sitting, Quassa had defended the $570,000-plus that the territorial government spent to send more than 60 people to the event and host other delegates at an evening of Nunavut food and music.

“You have to spend money to make money,” Quassa said at the time.

Again, this past Monday, MLAs asked various ministers if they had been “directed to attend” the event.

The regular MLAs also pointed to the lack of action by the Nunavut government on domestic violence, with an MLA releasing a coroner’s report on deaths from domestic violence that had not been given to the public before.

The regular MLAs also grilled Quassa over the high rate of child sexual abuse in Nunavut, prodding him to write a letter to the office of the Governor General, demanding that child sexual abuser Ike Haulli be stripped of his Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Quassa finally tabled that letter on June 11 in the legislature.

Asked if he had anything to say about the non-confidence motion on his leadership introduced this morning in the Nunavut legislature, Quassa said “no,” and, again, “no.”

Email this story to a friend... Print this page... Bookmark and Share Comment on this story...

(105) Comments:

#1. Posted by Observer on June 12, 2018

This is so very interesting for a consensus style of Government. But we now know this group of MLA’s will not put up with the usual and let things go if they feel it wasn’t right. When you have so many priorities and to have your Premier use 5,000 plus on a ride instead of the usual Taxi, something like this needs to happen to make a statement to the Government. I’m sorry Paul Quassa, you messed up. You did it in NTI and you did it again but this time, you are in a body that can take you out with a motion. 
There are a lot of powerful regular MLA’s that won’t put up with nonsense. Some of you Ministers / DM’s will also have to go.
This is a “Party” and team work.

#2. Posted by Ron Maine on June 12, 2018

The Premier has a fiduciary responsibility to Nunavut. 570k on a conference should be enough to be removed.

#3. Posted by Northern Exposure Man on June 12, 2018

I am beginning to wonder if the younger MLA’s are ready to challenge the old guard in an effort to start making some real positive changes in the territory. I watch with great interest.

#4. Posted by Extremely saddened on June 12, 2018

Apprently there are a many self seeking members in the legislature.  The timing is weird.  For goodnesss sake, wait until the formal report card is due.  I’m extremely disappoint in John M and Tony.  As far as the publicaly available information is concerned, there is nothing that would constitute such actions.  Selfish actions.  A sad day for politics in Nunavut.

#5. Posted by eyeing JMain on June 12, 2018

what confidence John Main.
you will lead many changes, for the good.
Marry Me!

#6. Posted by uvaga on June 12, 2018

wonder if they can look into Hamlet, some years ago in Rankin, family of the Mayor got a Hotel from Arviat, Rankinmiut was not able to buy a land, think this was like about 10 years ago and now he is buying most of Rankin Land.

#7. Posted by Agreed on June 12, 2018

Yep, good idea

#8. Posted by Northern Inuit on June 12, 2018

oh what a time to be in the popcorn gallery!  would be a fun day to take off work to go and watch if you were in Iqaluit.

it’s been great to see John Main, Adam Arreak Lightstone, George Hickes and others step up and really ask some hard questions that had to be asked.

our younger crop of MLA’s are doing wonderful at shaking things up in the ole boys club of Iqaluit.

I would hope to see this motion pass and it would be a very long day on Thursday.

but we shall see.

#9. Posted by Peter on June 12, 2018

I have to wonder where John is coming from? It’s one thing to be talking about the Northern lights, I agree it can be trimmed down with the GN but this conference is important. Meeting with Federal Ministers and officials during the conference open new doors to programs and partnerships.

Is it because this Premier is pushing for more Inuktitut in Nunavut? More Inuit in the GN, setting aside more funding for Inuit specific programs?

Getting rid of some non Inuit in the GN and replacing them with Inuit in top jobs!
I really don’t see where John Main is coming from on this one, John do you want the Premiership? Or a Cabinet spot?

Is it that this Premier didn’t say yes to the road and port in the Kitikmeot? Saving over 500 million for housing and programs?

When Paul stays on as Premier, Mr Main are you going to continue attacking without putting anything forward on how to improve things for Nunavut, just complaining and not finding ways to help improve things?

#10. Posted by Dark day on June 12, 2018

Dark day for politics in Nunavut.  John is a total disappoint.  We see nothing justifiable for this action the would lead removal of a Premeir.  To this point it seems we have more self seeking members in the legislature which is no surprise.  MLA’s save this issue for when it is time for his review. Sad day for politics in Nunavut.

#11. Posted by Old Crone on June 12, 2018

Don’t you have anything better to do. Like hire a nurse or build a house or take care of an elder. Fighting among yourselves is for 3 year olds

#12. Posted by Northerner on June 12, 2018

There must be more to this story, is it that one of the mla’s still want the Premiership and trying to find a way to get it? Using John Main to open it back up?

I’ve been hearing from Inuit that they are happy with where this government is heading, starting to change to what they wanted to see, maybe it’s this change and moving away from some influential southerners and token heads that has this MLA trying to oust the Premier?

Hicks was never a supporter of Inuit language and culture, I’m not sure about Lightstone, Main seems to have a hidden agenda. I’m sure it will come out once this settles down.

#13. Posted by Perplexed on June 12, 2018

I’m perplexed, whether this is good or bad.  Premier seems to be a ‘Walking, Talking Contradition?’  Either way, it has to be the right decision, what implications will come of this?  Good luck to both sides!

#14. Posted by Joe on June 12, 2018


John Main is fluent in Inuktitut.

It’s a non-confidence motion because Quassa barely answers questions, has no plan for governing (inclusive of having no plan to have Inuktitut the working language of Nunavut)
and has a history of misappropriation of funds.

The Gray’s Bay Port and road project is a sickening joke as well. Thank goodness the GN is not proceeding with their NIRB application. You’re kidding yourself if you think that port would reduce costs to Kitikmeot communities.

#15. Posted by Oscare on June 12, 2018

Return of The Dark Side of the Force. Go get em John.

#16. Posted by Changing of the Guard on June 12, 2018

I haven’t seen it in any of the coverage, and I don’t feel like going through Hansard to pin it down, but the “scoop” here would be… did the Premier say that he DIDN’T direct all of cabinet to go to Northern Lights? That’s obviously where they’re going with this.

It’s a small point, but important. Did he lie in the Assembly? If so, what other lies have there been?

I think what we’re seeing here is a changing of the guard. We have some new MLAs, and some newly emboldened MLAs, who won’t put up with the smiley glad-handing old guard who hits all the right notes (big Inuit language promises, founding father) but really has no interest in being honest with MLAs, (or Cabinet?) the press, or the public…

#17. Posted by Logic on June 12, 2018

Mr Main is obviously not the only one, he must have backing of the majority of the Assembly to push this through, other wise why risk it. I don’t think this is self serving and I don’t believe he would get a cabinet role even in the shuffle, but lets be honest what has the Premier actually done to assist Inuit. a)He fired a few non Inuit people. This most likely cost the GN alot of $$$$ in wrongful dismissal settlements, and most likely reduces services to Inuit who accessed services from those staff. b) Increasing Language. He has no plan in place or real funding to do this other then setting a 4 year target. c) Went to Northern Lights. He took a $5000 car ride across the road 300m because it was snowy and icy out….... d) He Lied. He has been caught lying twice already. First in saying they withdrew support for the Grays Bay Project after the Federal Funding was declined. Second when he said he discussed The Grays Bay Project at the meeting in Pond Inlet. No Loss for Nunavut.

#18. Posted by By stander on June 12, 2018

What’s the big deal about spending $570K for 60 Nunavutmiut to attend the Northern lights trade show and conference and those 60 people are mostly Inuit from Nunavut. Attending trade show is good for Nunavut and for MLA John Main its too expensive and waste of money and unnecessary expense for Nunavut Inuit and to attend trade shows. The more GN premier and ministers attend trade shows and conference the better for the Nunavut economic development opportunities.
For MLA John Main let the Nunavut be unknown to outside world and Nunavut not to take part in economic development opportunities in Northern Lights trade show and conference. See Nunavut Inuit business have grown more over the years because of trade show and to MLA JOhn Main its not helping no one in Nunavut and to John he don’t want Inuit who take part in Northern Lights trade show and conference paid by ED&T and GN. MLA John Main is dangerous to Inuit so is George Hicks and Lightstone.

#19. Posted by Statler Lives! on June 12, 2018

Was it just a coinky-dink that those KIA fellows were in the gallery today?

Or were they there to gloat… hehe, see what happens when you try to derail our gravy train!

#20. Posted by Knockout Ned on June 12, 2018

I’m told this is based on Mining Industry folks who are upset about Grays Bay. Leona, Taptuna, and others are pulling strings to try to get their man in.

You guys seems to think Quassa is a member of the old boys club. Nothing could be further from the truth - he has enraged many of the old boys and our former MP by standing up to bullies who only see us as a resource colony.

I’ve got your back Quassa, many of us do.

#21. Posted by KNip on June 12, 2018

Wow, I don’t know what to say after working the past 15 years (with CGS) and now living in Yellowknife.  Change is hard and painful; this could be a good thing and should be viewed as positive.  I enjoyed my tenure working with the GN and all the A/E consultants, Hamlet Councils/Staff and mostly the awesome staff at the CB Regional Office.  Keep it up!!!!!!!!!!

#22. Posted by iWonder on June 12, 2018

John has shown good judgement. Let’s see how this plays out.

#23. Posted by Give Us More Info on June 12, 2018

This is a pretty drastic motion to bring! Yes the Northern Lights spending was bad but nothing worse than past Premiers. I have not seen any action by our Premier that would warrant going so far as to remove him. MLAs Main and Akoak must explain to the voters what brought this on. The motion does not “speak for itself”.If there is some serious bad action we dont know about then fine fire him but these MLAs need to let the people know what this is all about. But if this motion is happening for no good reason or it’s just a political stunt then it’s these MLAs who need to go for poor judgment.

#24. Posted by Concerned on June 12, 2018

And back to the old policies we move to, industry supporting policies.  The bullies from the feds.  Regional Inuit that walk over Inuit residents and members that basically get lost in the lime-light of politics. There is nothing that provides any improvement to the grass roots of community other than a select few who’s business benefit with this move. Kitikmeot Inuit Association and Savikataaq that basically support initiatives industry requires over the residents of Nunavut.  John Main, you’re doing no favours for Inuit with this move.

#25. Posted by Kanokli on June 12, 2018

Give these Regular MLA’s credit. They were lied to, seen uncontrollable spending, not getting any answers. The MLA’S have every right to make the Premier accountable which is exactly happening. They represent Us and are the voice for us in the house. When the trust is gone, it’s impossible to work with a Leader with those qualities. One of those qualities was violating a woman!!

#26. Posted by Arnold McGillicuddy on June 12, 2018

If you knowingly lie in a formal setting like the Nunavut Legislature, there needs to be consequences.  N’est pas?

Regardless of the lie (great big or little white), if it was meant to cover up behaviour or decisions you’ve made then you have lost my confidence.  I want my elected leaders to have my same morals. 

Good work John Main et al.

#27. Posted by Go big on June 12, 2018

John Main has set out from the beginning to be the big bad regular MLA. Is this more about personality conflict rather than substance?

#28. Posted by Really?? on June 12, 2018

Go MLAs go!!!

You are doing a great job setting the standards high for the GN and showing those that you won’t tolerate anything less! This is exactly what Nunavut needs and has needed for a long time!

Paul quassa was convicted of sexual assault and child abdonment and now he is leading the government???!!!!!! Why are people like this being rewarded and allowed to lead a territory that is in such dire need of so much! have you seen the rate of sexual assault in this territory!???? 155% higher than national average!!!! And yours truly has contributed to this! 

How can someone who has contributed to the problem be a part of resolving it?

And now lying in the assembly!!!!!

Time to go! See ya!!!!! Get rid of all these convicts!

Time to get serious, Nunavut! Your territory is in a state of crisis to say the least.

#29. Posted by OceanAdventure on June 12, 2018

I agree with you #22. Also, John Main has always tried to serve his community. I have been impressed with this group of MLAs. I am looking forward to Thursday’s discussion.

#30. Posted by Explain this!!!! on June 12, 2018

The MLAs bringing this motion need to give the people of Nunavut an explanation now. The motion does not “speak for itself”. YOU speak for your motion!! Northern Lights seams like a pretty lame excuse. If there is some real bad action by the Premier then ok fine fire him but you can’t upend our government and provide no explanation. This is nuts! Tell us why you have decided our Premier needs to be fired AND if you have no good reason or this is a political stunt then you should be fired. The longer these MLAs stay quiet about this unrepresented action the more rumor and conspiracy theories will grown.

#31. Posted by Rutabeggar on June 12, 2018

Knockout Ned.  So John Main, who helped campaign for the NDP in the last Federal Election, is really a secret minion of former Conservative cabinet minister Leona Aglukkaq and her cabal of Kitikmeot Illuminati?  Fascinating. Tell us more! Premier Quassa is sure lucky he has you on his side.  Well done!  Your sources are impeccable sir.

#32. Posted by all in on June 12, 2018

the motion must have come from a majority of the non-cabinet members to be presented - John Main is the Chairperson of that group. He’s only the messenger. I’d look deeper at the group of regular members to see where and why this motion came about. Hopefully members use their voices on Thursday to explain where this is coming from (and those who don’t support the motion too, hope to hear from all the members).  Likely to be a good show! look for the “live stream” link

#33. Posted by This sucks John! on June 12, 2018

Inuit are finally getting in decision making positions and this non-Inuk has to turn back the clock!  Come on fellow Inuk MLA we have suffered long enough.  Inuluta Nunatini Salaugnurata!

#34. Posted by Really the road to the middle of nowhere from nowh on June 12, 2018

Nunavut deserves better this made up story John and Tony! Mining companies build roads to resources to make money and not government.  The rest of you MLAs do not need to be led by these two misled, misguided individuals.  We are no longer controlled by qalunaaqs for a change and a qalunaaq has to make sure we go back to colonial days!

#35. Posted by Uvanga on June 12, 2018

What a sad day for Inuit pride, this is a disgrace to our people. Finally we had our spirits lifted with somewhat of pride in our premier to put forward our language first and our elders first just to be crushed by MLAs. Where are their Inuit principles aajiiqatigiinngniq, ikajuqtigiinngniq. Now we have Inuit lateral violence in front of our eyes. Who is mr. Netser to say that we don’t need Inuktitut in schools and we can learn it at home. Mikinnuawak to say how realistic is it to teach Inuktitut in medical terms and technology with a negative connotation. Those 2 are complete downers. Not even giving the premier a chance to deliver turaaqtavut. Turaagaksaqajaarunniiqtualiit maligaliuqtiit, what a shame. Another thing, when premier presented his budget, not one MLA asked hi about Inuit employment which he is responsible for. I guess the MLAs don’t care now because all they want is for him to be ousted.

#36. Posted by Knockout Ned on June 12, 2018

#31 I didn’t say anything about Conservatives, you did.

I did say folks with an interest in mining in the Kitikmeot expected the GN to funds $100 million+ for Grays Bay, despite other mins in Nunavut paying their own damn way.

Where did the good Member work prior to becoming an MLA?

Did you notice those KitIA folks snickering in the background in the Leg today?

#37. Posted by Aitaa on June 12, 2018

#28, I don’t know if your sexual assault claim is true but as far as I know, he has never been convicted. If this is a rumour that’s too bad but if it’s true I’m with you.. leaders with crimes and convictions of that nature should not be allowed to run for politics..

#38. Posted by Amarualik on June 12, 2018

This is so ridiculous and childish.. premier didn’t take any money away from any programs to have his team join him in Ottawa to meet with their new counterpart, it all came out of their own individual budgets. How come they are not asking if their travel went over budget. Each minister has their own travel budget and that is what they used not take it away from a program. Tedious complains, there bigger things to deal with in this territory than these mediocour issues. Some community politics?...

#39. Posted by Uvanga on June 12, 2018

Elder care facilities or greys Bay in the term of this government??? And where would the money come from? Yes, the transportation corridor fund existed but none of the request from the last government got accepted by the feds except for a few airports in Nunavut as well as the first air wharehouse.. is there a pot of money for elder care facilities? I don’t believe so unless you want to use the debt cap which the GN has already used much of. GN budget is already at its max.  Hmmm.. what should they cut is the big question unless Canada truly wants reconciliation with Inuit and make more dollars available to make our communities stronger with better infrastructure but that is all up to the Trudeau government.

#40. Posted by Killaapik on June 12, 2018

If this is about the northern light trade show, this is exactly what happened with the NWT government when premier mcloed took his entire cabinet to AME round up to Vancouver in 2017, he didn’t get ousted for it and he took them again the next year with some MLAs in 2018.. premier Quassa does not deserve this at all. Premier is a leader and should be allowed to direct and encourage his colleagues to support his government. Oh and MLAs did not even scrutinize the EIA budget tonight and did not question the Inuit employment division which falls under the premier. They bark and holler about it but when it was in front of them, no peep, no questions asked. I thought they cared about Inuit employment and where it’s going but nope… not one question

#41. Posted by Hold on... on June 12, 2018

1. Quassa did not know, and had pretty much no way of knowing the full price tag for the Northern Lights spending. Alot of that money was used to pay for staff whose travel would be approved by their managers and DMs. It makes sense that lots of ministers went, that conference is a good way for them to connect with business leaders and other politicians. I agree 500k is too much, quassa could now direct departmebts to reduce spending.

2. That limo ride price tag is ridiculous. To be fair he probably had no idea how much it cost-and fair enough, our premier should be thinking about other things (negotiating with the feds and other diplomats and business people) during his time at meetings like northern lights. His staff should know better. They should be reprimanded, as ministerial travel should not be so expensive. Maybe he should pay a portion back.

3. All this feels like party politics..

#42. Posted by 7 months? on June 12, 2018

I bet our Member of Parliament, Hunter Tootoo is thinking damn! 7 months - He beat me by a month.

#43. Posted by Concerned on June 12, 2018

John Main hasn’t provided solutions or options that would possibly provide answers to issues facing Inuit.  What he’s done is play the audience for attention, using serious issues, life threatening issues. Raising in a platform where media, rather ears-itching ears can agree and generate anger and hunger for immigrate results.  John has none, no answers, no plan, nothing strategic.  He is just paying an audience that reflect the moral of his audience.  He is all talk, no action.  He will play this same game to whom ever becomes premier and icaucus.  Typical Jr politician selflessly playing an audience.  He basically attempting to bring Inuit, community level support back to the Canadian government and mining companies.  You are so no service to the community level. MLA’s for communities, defeat this motion.  You are being played.  John Main youdon’t have my vote next elections.

#44. Posted by Ikki! on June 13, 2018

Nunavut has never had a strategy for addressing violence against women and children. Eva Ariaq’s government promised us one. Peter Taptuna’s government avoided giving us one like the plague. Don’t pin the violence in NU on Paul Quassa. Instead ask this whole government: What will you do now?

#45. Posted by OMG on June 13, 2018

7 months - OMG best comment on here. You made me LOL. Thanks for the morning laugh

#46. Posted by Bert Rose on June 13, 2018

$540,000 represents .024% of the Nunavut budget for 2018-19. Surely this is not a confidence amount?

#47. Posted by Why U Dum on June 13, 2018

Joe Saviktaak, is still the best choice for premier. Get rid of paul, Go Joe Go

#48. Posted by Native on June 13, 2018

#9 you are sounding racist you want Nunavut to grow and things to happen you don’t but in Inuit to top level jobs because they are Inuit you put them in because they are the best qualified person for it.

#41 a little party politics may help things get done, it’s a good thing that some MLA’s are all on the same page

Over half a million to go to one conference, millions more to language can’t wait to see what else has been done. In the mean while your have elders living in shacks time to straight out your priorities.

John, George, Adam thank you for doing your jobs.

#49. Posted by VoterII on June 13, 2018

My government said they are transparent, how come they not telling me whats going on?

#50. Posted by Ujjirrusuq on June 13, 2018

? why do some of you shoot the messenger? 

this is about premier PQ (or,and his close Minister?) and not about who exposed the info.  Focus. focus on who it is about.  to get to this point we have to trust -and wait- that they have a reason(s). 
All MLA, I urge you to fix yourself.

the truth wins in the end.

#51. Posted by Is it? on June 13, 2018

Is it Thursday yet?

#52. Posted by Snowgo on June 13, 2018

What will happen to John Main and people from his region anyone in the past that went against the grain was taken out to dry in the sun, and it came from any departments how many are involved in this? what control do they have in the government most jobs that are taken are being filled with people from east coast who is using them what monies are being taken out to keep them there, who from what community are working closely with them? why them? are they controlling the east coasters with public money

#53. Posted by Joe S for Premier on June 13, 2018

Joe for Premier he seems like the only honest MLA. Tells the truth and sticks to the truth.

#54. Posted by Angry Inuk Woman From Nunavut on June 13, 2018

another Inuk woman has been killed by homicide in our territory (6th this year) and this is making the big news?
Why are our woman being killed by the hands of our inuit men and this is the top most priority of discussion?
Why are our woman being abducted and killed and/or raped in the south and this is the top most priority of discussion?

#55. Posted by Monica Connolly on June 13, 2018

Whatever the reasons behind this motion, it has the makings of a constitutional crisis.
In a party-based system, a premier is backed by a party with a unified set of policies. If he leaves, there is still continuity.  In Nunavut, no such party unity exists, and the premier is the main unifier.
A vote of non-confidence is usually directed against the whole government and results in an election. It is used cautiously because the people often vote out a party seen to have caused an unnecessary election. Regular elections are held only every four or five years: it is recognized that a year, let alone seven months, is not long enough to accomplish anything.
If Members Main and Akoak are objecting to policies and practice in the last half year, the appropriate action would be a motion of censure.
An attempt to oust the premier for his performance to this point would set a precedent leaving future governments with no safe base from which to govern the territory.

#56. Posted by uvaga on June 13, 2018

Cathy for Premier, tells the truth and POINTS very strong.

#57. Posted by Concerned Citizen on June 13, 2018

This sounds like a Baffin versus Kivalliq Feud.

#58. Posted by Vicki Aitaok on June 13, 2018

Omg people. Are you so shallow that gossip and speculation rules you? Where are your critical thinking skills?
Back off against John - he is the messenger. Handling himself with professionalism and integrity I might add.
Wait until Thursday to hear the FACTS….then all this speculating, back stabbing and bullying will have once again been a waste of energy.

#59. Posted by Icey Eyes on June 13, 2018

The Premier’s position should be voted by all of Nunavut population instead of being appointed by the elect few. Nunavut should change the way they elect their leaders because all of the people would give a stronger mandate to the Premier elect and more spunk for the MLA’s…but I guess this is my penny’s worth of…

#60. Posted by Why? on June 13, 2018

I am already questioning Johns motives.

#61. Posted by outside looking in on June 13, 2018

Anyone who thinks this is a race thing or if you think its about the .024% of the Nunavut budget for 2018-19 is short sighted. You dont get into your MLA position unless you have the peoples interest at heart, regardless of race. This is a serious motion and I think John is not doing this because he wants to be the next premier but he and a group of others would like someone else to be premier. Dont shoot the messenger here, but maybe the MLA’s are not happy with just keeping the status quo and want more position action taken? It will be interesting on Thursday to see what happens. If the motion is defeated or passed I wonder what will happen next and by whom?

#62. Posted by Observer on June 13, 2018

Joe Savikatarq never speaks Inuktut. He always speaks english and so I don’t think he would be a good choice.

#63. Posted by Ron Maine on June 13, 2018

Keep in mind that Paul only had about 100 votes in the general election. He should not represent everyone in Nunavut. George Hickes for Premier, he had over 500 votes -dwarfing all other MLAs!

#64. Posted by Recall MLA John Main on June 13, 2018

So John doesn’t state why he put forth the motion. And he didn’t do his job as regular MLA and ask questions when Premier’s department was in committee on Tuesday. His constituents should recall him as MLA for not being transparent and not doing his job.

#65. Posted by Realizing on June 13, 2018

Paul Quasaq is finding out who is really running the government. Finding out how much the senior level directors have loyalty to their Ministers. Letting a Minister and legislation down by the Senior level directors if not something new, it’s been happening for many years. This is too soon should have waited to Minister’s performance review. coop.

#66. Posted by Crystal Clarity on June 13, 2018

This may be coming down to one simple thing ....misappropriation of funds….. and if that is the case the Premier needs to be called out on it just as any other public servant.

But we will all have to wait until Thursday to find out the details.All this speculation is for nothing until the motion is tabled. End of story.

#67. Posted by Fake Plastic Tree on June 13, 2018

#30 This is how Parliamentary democracy works, it’s not only legitimate, it’s perfectly vibrant!

Main “emphasized that he had brought the motion, seconded by Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak, on behalf of all 13 members of the caucus of regular MLAs.”

We appear to have a consensus. If so, Quassa is finished.


John is just the one standing up, knowingly taking the scrutiny.

Think that over for a bit.

#68. Posted by Pants on fire on June 13, 2018

I am really impressed with the bravery of these new MLAs. For 20 years regular members have been bullied and intimidated by the likes of Okalik and Tootoo, resulting in very little progress. Quassa faked support for Greys Bay to gain support for premiership and pulled a 180 once he won. He has lied about the reasons for his change of heart twice now, in the House.
He was apprehensive to support the initiative to write a letter in regards to abuse in the north and only did so when he couldn’t stall any longer.
Add to that , the expensive trade show. All this without even getting into his charges and convictions from the past in regards to sexual assault, and child abandonment. What else do Nunavutmiut need to hear to realize Quassa is not Premier material. Also, if rumours are true and Paul Okalik is back in the mix on devolution, well that’s really all you need to know. Okalik has had his chance time and time again, it’s time to send him out to pasture once and for all.

#69. Posted by Native on June 13, 2018

#63 that is a fantastic idea - GEORGE FOR PREMIER !!!!

#70. Posted by Calvin and Hobbes on June 13, 2018

Calvin: Hey Hobbes what do you think of this Legislative fiasco
Hobbes: Let them screw each other as long as they don’t screw us

#71. Posted by Blah-ed out on June 13, 2018

We shoulda had stuck with NWT! OR the wages of ALL Members of Legislative Assembly was not so high, they all should cut their wage budget to being just regular earners like us Inuit regular earners…. then they ALL would do their jobs more efficiently. OR there should be no premiers, ministers and what not, just ALL MLA’s would be fine then maybe they would politic more properly….. Come on ppl, come Thursday we will once again be blah-ed again…

#72. Posted by Calvin and Hobbes on June 13, 2018

Calvin: do we see a new candidate running for the federal election after they been thrown out of premiership.
Hobbes: I think so, I think so

#73. Posted by Saddest day ever on June 13, 2018

#68 ....please tell me this is not true. Paul Okalik even after the people voted against him in the last election to not be in government, Mr. Quassa is sneaking him in the back door . Once he is in he will take control and order the old boys club like puppets on a string like he always done. This is the saddest day ever, so old games with new faces.

#74. Posted by on June 13, 2018

#69 George Hickes is a great idea, but the ball has already been set in motion for Lightstone to take the throne. Why else would he still be running ads—>

#75. Posted by Sad on June 13, 2018

#54 Angry Inuk Woman, its news in part because Mr. Quassa has a past that involves abuse, and this is likely why he is sheepish about talking about abuse and sexual assault.  If he can’t even speak strongly about these problems because he has no freedom of speech, the very issues that you are concerned about (violence against women, sexual assault) will never be addressed and will never be a priority for Mr. Quassa.

I’m all for forgiveness if someone had made changes, but if someone has a checkered past, wouldn’t it be wise to avoid such high-profile positons, such as Premier of Nunavut? And if people are talking about his past, perhaps he should be more open and honest about it.

#76. Posted by Wannabe on June 13, 2018

This is was fueled up from Kivalliq road funding not accepted.

#77. Posted by Don't bite the hand that feeds you on June 13, 2018

Of course #46 has no issue with Quassa spending. Hes income comes from maxing out appointments to boards. Him and son both recently got appointees to the same boards by Quassa. how many times do you see him at the airport going on paid trips like the northern lights. If your bread and butter and travel is coming from Quassa you won’t have an issue.

#78. Posted by Inuk Person on June 13, 2018

On Monday’s hansard, a handful of MLAs asked some questions to Ministers about being mandatory to attend the Northern Lights conference. It sounded like something fishy was going on because it was only one question.

Can’t wait to see the show down tomorrow!

#79. Posted by All MLA’s recalled – new election? on June 13, 2018

Comments are ratcheting towards 100 on speculation that the Premier may be removed for maybe…spending too much on a trade show. Or is it western KIA wants government to pay for rich China’s mining road? 

While another very big issue it is all shhhhh. That is your rights are being stripped away from you if Cannabis Bill-7 passes. That’s everyone! Even if you don’t use it.

If Bill-7 becomes law very soon, then you can be searched without warrant. And or your ATV/snowmachine/car/truck, can be searched without warrant. Even your kids sitting as passengers. 

Not ONE MLA is concerned you losing your rights. Bill-7 will make people living in Nunavut to be considered less human and should have less rights?  So far Bill-7 has been read and passed twice.

MLA’s agreeing you can be searched without a warrant. No judge needed.

Once Government takes your rights away – seldom, if ever you get them back.

Should all MLA’s be recalled – new election?

#80. Posted by sled dog on June 13, 2018

lets hope no matter what happens the Premier’s eyebrows remain intact

#81. Posted by @Number 5 on June 13, 2018

@ Number 5 “eyeing JMain”
Is that you John Main?  lol

#82. Posted by #37 Facts are Facts on June 13, 2018

#37 from 2001

“This is the third time Quassa has stepped down as president of Nunavut’s land-claims organizations.

The first time was in 1992 after Quassa was charged with sexual assault. He was convicted, but received an absolute discharge. After an accused person has been found guilty by way of a plea or conviction after trial, a discharge may be granted by the court, eventually nullifying any criminal record that the guilty person may have had.

The second time was in 1994 when he was charged by the RCMP for abandoning a child and resisting arrest.”

#83. Posted by Why? Why? Why? on June 13, 2018

# 54,
You have to ask the MMIWG people.
After all they were given $50 million for ” tea and bannock ” ?
One thing I have learned is that native people can rip off just as
good as any one else.

#84. Posted by Pathetic move on June 13, 2018

What are you doing John Main.  The man you’re trying to oust represents better speak on half than elect member you find yourself entangled with.  You’re going back to the old priorities of pro-development, Federal manipulation, benefit the few elect officials.  Come on, what’s got into you?  Majority of your riding has not once been supported by Hickes, Joe Savikataq.  You have basically thrown out the values and principles that would have been represented by this mandate.  Your going the wrong way.  You’ve lost my vote.  You’ve lost my confidence.

#85. Posted by Nti bennie on June 13, 2018

It’s time to go for party politics in Nunavut and get away from consensus government system it useless now.

#86. Posted by Takunaaqpugut on June 13, 2018

Comment #55 is right. Does John Main not realize his careless motion, if it passes, will cost Nunavummiut probably more than 100k for an unnecessary leadership forum? He really can’t wait until mid term review? Mai. I bet he’ll nominate Joe S for Premier, it’s been the plan all along. Very careless. This is not about Nunavummiut, just a power grab.  He’s been after Premier Quassa since Joe S lost. Lack of respect the way he questions in session almost like a preacher scolding Inuit with righteous anger. if this motion goes through all of Cabinet should be dissolved. By the way he is not the messenger, he’s the ring leader.

#87. Posted by NTI bennie on June 13, 2018

Consensus government has never worked for Nunavutmiut, it works for all MLAs just for MLAs and not for Nunavutmiut. It’s time to get away from having consensus government system and Nunavutmiut should get into Party politics ASAP so Nunavut could have more stable government and do a better job of serving Nunavutmiut. Better government better citizens it would be for all Nunavutmiut.

#88. Posted by Free on June 13, 2018

Silence from the regular MLAs is one thing, but it’s also a bit worrisome that there’s silence from Paul Quassa as well…  We’ll see everything qaukpa I guess… then I’ll be calling my MLA as soon as possible supporting Premier Paul or not…  just so my MLA has a bit of input from me on how I’d want him to vote… lol as if he’d receive my call lol

#89. Posted by Putuguk on June 13, 2018

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. MLAs put the Premier in place, they can remove him.

Goodness, all this negativity towards John Main. He is just the spokesperson for the ordinary MLAs!

Who else is going to bring this forward?

This is not the UFC - not a bout of Quassa vs. Main.

But if it was, please note Quassa misused $30K of Inuit money, absolute discharge on sexual assault and a conviction on child abandonment.  John Main - honest, hard working non criminal family man. Who is more credible?

So I say, John Main and other MLAs, go ahead and do your freaking job already and thank you for your public service.

#90. Posted by Dog Eat Dog on June 13, 2018

Is the Premier the only target, or is he just the first target?

Is this “party politics” through the back door?

After all the organizing to get rid of the Premier, will the Regular Members be content to elect another member of the current Cabinet to be Premier?

Will they be content with a seven member Cabinet?

Will they want just one of their number to become a Cabinet Minister in an eight member Cabinet that includes all of the other current Cabinet Ministers?

Will they designate that one person as the Premier?

Will all of them choose to become Cabinet Ministers, thus forming a majority government and being immune from the sort of move they are now making?

So many questions?  We will know some of the answers tomorrow.

#91. Posted by Huh? on June 13, 2018

#79: this isn’t a new thing - the officer has to smell or otherwise detect cannabis in the car. This isn’t stop and frisk. It is the SAME THING as alcohol. Officer doesn’t need a warrant to pull you out of the car and search if they smell booze on you. They are translating some parts of alcohol laws over to apply to cannabis soon. They can’t just search your car, even with new law. No one is “losing their rights”.Jeez.

#92. Posted by Uvanga on June 13, 2018

#78 premier McLeod takes his entire cabinet to the AME round up in Vancouver and invites MLAs take part and he doesn’t get ousted because of it. It’s about promoting your territory and hoping that industry will invest in it for the betterment of the territory.

#93. Posted by Aitaa on June 13, 2018

#82, tell me why Quassa doesn’t have a criminal record? I’m confused about a conviction then an absolute discharge. If there was a conviction then he would have a record. Was he pardened for it?.

#94. Posted by Song for drum dance on June 14, 2018

I think it is time for
Paul to start to write an Aja Aja song about him self.  Confessions and tribulations and trails, sounds like a good sivuniksavut song to dance to by qilaluat.

#95. Posted by Monica Connolly on June 14, 2018

#93, an Absolute Discharge is sort of like a pardon, but it’s delivered by the judge as a sentence, the smallest consequence you can get for a criminal guilty finding. It’s used when it’s in the defendant’s best interest without being against the public interest. That usually means the crime is pretty minor in its category, the defendant has a good record otherwise, and there seems little chance of their doing it again. No penalty, no record, just the humiliation of court. The next level is the Conditionsl Discharge, where the judge requires the offender to do certain things within the next few months, and if he succeeds there will be no record.

#96. Posted by By stander on June 14, 2018

Inuktut speaking is a priority for 5th government and the majority of MLAs are Inuit but majority of Inuktut speaking MLAs don’t speak in the house so therefore when and if an Inuk MLA and or an Inuk executive member don’t speak in Inuktut in the house then those MLAs and executive members should not qualify for Premiership. Joe Savikataaq is an Inuk but he sound likes he has abandoned Kivaliq Inuit world language but not for those Lorne Kusugak, Cathy Towtongie and Pattiq Natsiq.  Should PQ Premier go then let’s go for Lorne for Premier he is very well fluent Inuktut speaking MLA/Minister he is the only one who is qualified for premiership in the house.

#97. Posted by Ticky Tacky on June 14, 2018

We’re not totally sure yet the reason(s) that the MLAs have to bring this motion forward against Quassa.

However, people have been speculating it’s related to the Northern Lights Conference, and comparing that NWT Premier McLeod didn’t get removed from taking many to AME in Vancouver.

Well, McLeod took 7 Cabinet Ministers and 24 government workers.  Quassa took his family, his Cabinet Ministers, their family, and the total amount of people from Nunavut in Ottawa was over 60.  That’s absurd.

#98. Posted by IceClass on June 14, 2018

This may come as a shock to some but running a territorial government involves an awful lot more than simply speaking Inuktitut.

You wouldn’t get on a plane if the pilots’ only qualification was to speak great Inuktitut so stop pretending it’s all you need to run a government.

This is stupidity and Inuktitut is not the language of stupid people.

#99. Posted by Ticky Tacky on June 14, 2018

Ah yes, By Stander, let’s remove the Premier who has been convicted of sexual assault and name a new Premier who has previously been charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of attempting by any means to choke, strangle or suffocate a person.

#100. Posted by West Nunavut on June 14, 2018

# 96,
A good idea, John Main would make a very good leader, but there is a
lot of jealous racism against him because of his knowledge and fluency
in Inuktitut.
Because of the pathetic standard of Inuktitut being taught here by
absolute incompetent people, the young people have given up on it
and I do not blame them.
If it ever happens, I hope John introduces good Inuktitut teaching.

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?