Nunatsiaq News
EDITORIAL: Nunavut August 08, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Paul Quassa’s fall was self-inflicted

Nunavut MLAs have shown their non-partisan legislature is glowing with health

Nunavut MLAs stand in the legislature this past June 14 to let Speaker Joe Enook record their votes on a motion to remove Aggu MLA Paul Quassa from the premier's position. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)
Nunavut MLAs stand in the legislature this past June 14 to let Speaker Joe Enook record their votes on a motion to remove Aggu MLA Paul Quassa from the premier's position. (PHOTO BY BETH BROWN)

More than six weeks have passed since an overwhelming majority of MLAs, including nearly all the cabinet ministers, voted to remove Aggu MLA Paul Quassa from the Nunavut premiership.

Though MLAs used a power that’s been built into the territorial legislature from the very beginning, it was still an unprecedented act. Does this mean Nunavut residents have something to worry about?

Not at all. Nunavut MLAs demonstrated this past June their non-partisan Nunavut legislature is glowing with health.

They’ve also shown us that a younger generation of MLAs—educated in finance, business administration and the principles of democratic government—have emerged to offer a mature form of political representation we’ve seen all too rarely in the past.

For Nunavut, this is all good news.

For Quassa and his social media fan base, his removal should serve as an overdue reminder that it’s not 1993 anymore. And it’s highly unlikely that Nunavummiut have ever wanted a premier who believes he can bark out orders like a modern version of an old-fashioned patriarchal camp boss, and it’s highly unlikely that they’ve ever wanted a premier who rules by decree like some third-rate dictator.

By long-standing convention, Nunavut premiers must work within a collegial system in which important policy decisions are made collectively, by cabinet, and in consultation with the legislature, the civil service, affected interest groups and regular people like you.

Yes, Quassa’s defenders have portrayed him as a champion of the Inuit language and a champion of increasing Inuit employment in government. Those are worthy causes. That’s why every Nunavut government since 1999 has also championed them.

But it’s highly unlikely that Quassa could ever have accomplished anything substantial in those areas, due to his demonstrated unfitness for the premier’s office and his failure to understand the obligations that come with the position. The public record is stuffed with evidence to support this judgment.

First, it’s clear that MLAs and cabinet ministers no longer had faith in Quassa’s ability to tell the truth.

This was exposed through a demonstrably false statement that Quassa gave in the legislature concerning cabinet’s participation this past February at the Northern Lights trade show in Ottawa. According to figures dug up by CBC Iqaluit, that event—attended by all cabinet ministers and their respective entourages—cost the Government of Nunavut nearly $600,000.

On May 25, John Main, the MLA for Arviat North-Whale Cove, asked Quassa if the attendance of all cabinet ministers at that gathering was mandatory—a decision that would have inflated the GN’s costs.

Quassa replied that their attendance “was not mandatory.”

But on June 11, a succession of six MLAs established that Quassa’s May 25 statement was a big, whopping nose-stretcher.

Each MLA asked each of the six ministers in the house that day if they had been “directed” to attend Northern Lights. In government-speak, if you’re “directed” to do something, it’s mandatory. And the only official with the power to “direct” a cabinet minister is the premier.

Five of those ministers said yes. The sixth, David Akeeagok, an obvious Quassa loyalist, responded with an ambiguous weasel phrase: “I was encouraged to go.”

Compared with the GN’s $2-billion annual budget, the cost of its attendance at Northern Lights represents a tiny chunk of pocket change. Though excessive, it’s not big enough to jeopardize the government’s financial position or important enough on its own to bring down a premier.

But by making a false statement about it, Quassa hastened his political demise.

Then there’s the arbitrary, erratic decision-making that some MLAs cited on the day they ousted him.

On or about June 11, unbeknownst to MLAs and the public, ex-premier Paul Okalik, an old crony of Quassa dating back to the 1980s, started work as Nunavut’s chief devolution negotiator, replacing Nunavut’s long-standing devolution negotiator, Simon Awa.

Hudson Bay MLA Alan Rumbolt managed to pry that information from Quassa during a committee of the whole sitting held June 12.

It’s clear MLAs were rather less than pleased with that arbitrary, unannounced appointment, because by June 19, the new premier, Joe Savikataaq, had put the kibosh on it. He removed Okalik and reinstated Awa.

Finally, there’s Quassa’s autocratic approach to leadership. On that point, Quassa, as reported by CBC Nunavut on June 15, convicts himself with his own words.

“Inuit used to have one leader back then in a small community. The way it worked was that whatever the leader says was the only way to do it. That’s what a leader was supposed to do, and it should be like that today.”

Whatever the leader says is “the only way to do it?” That’s a repugnant idea, a clear expression of authoritarianism. Through his own words, Quassa reveals he’s unfit to hold public office within a democratic society that values consultation and consensus, as well as diversity and pluralism.

The simple-minded valorization of strongman leaders is gaining ground around the world. So the people of Nunavut should be grateful their MLAs wasted no time in putting a stop to that tendency when it emerged in the person of Paul Quassa.

As for the new premier, Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq, we wish him the best of luck and offer this unsolicited advice: focus on no more than two or three practical priorities, stay pragmatic and keep it simple. JB

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(53) Comments:

#1. Posted by ugly leader on August 08, 2018

Quassa was horrible and repulsive as a leader. So were many of his top aides. They were autocratic bullies not leaders. Nunavut needs a shake up.

#2. Posted by John Metuq on August 08, 2018

ambiguous weasel? this is the kind of journalism that belongs to european people no respect

#3. Posted by Inuk on August 08, 2018

Don’t make fun of the way Inuit run things. The traditions kept us alive and we wouldn’t be here today without them. Nunatsiaq need more Inuit working for them.

#4. Posted by Observer on August 08, 2018

A few observations about your Editorial: A lot of Nunavut voters will remain frustrated because they have no voice whatsoever in the selection of the Premier. In a party system, one gets to vote for the leader by voting for the party candidate on the ballot and you do not have to place trust in the good judgement in candidate you are voting for. In Nunavut, we know how often we get disappointed in that with our local candidates.
- Your Editorial also shows how this consensus government is completely bereft of ideas and has no direction going forward. All our premier can talk about is cannabis regulations and some amendments to the education act?? Give me a break. Our corrections system is in crisis, our municipal infrastructure and housing is in crisis, public officials (coroner) being obstructed in their duties, and he can only talk about cannabis and those education amendments….

#5. Posted by over zealous before a fall on August 08, 2018

“For Quassa and his social media fan base, his removal should serve as an overdue reminder that it’s not 1993 anymore.”  You toss about Leader Paul Quassa, one of many who represented Inuit, and the vision of Nunavut in 1993, that was in that day, what the people wanted and voted for - The over zealous Southern government of that day, over saw the supposed plan to teach Inuit Leaders, fell flatly into confusion, replacing the vision of Nunavut with 18 years of Southern values, ways, and spending.  We can plainly see in the example of Iqaluit, how 18 years has displaced the vision of 1993 and the people of Nunavut.  The Leaders of 1993 did not need encouragement to keep breathing with a slap on the back “best of luck”.  The vision of Nunavut came natural as breathing.

#6. Posted by Finally on August 08, 2018

Finally something that points to multiple issues with Paul.
He was unfit, and instead of letting him waste the next 3+ years while we wait for another election, the MLA’s did the right thing.

#7. Posted by Kenn Harper on August 08, 2018

To number 2, you’re misquoting. The writer did not call David Akeeagok an “ambiguous weasel”. He referred to his words as an “ambiguous weasel phrase.” The term “weasel words” is well known with a well-understood meaning. By extension, so therefore is the term “weasel phrase.”

#8. Posted by B Aglukark on August 08, 2018

This is Jim Bell’s article-his own thoughts.  Advantages of having your own public billboard, and the need for government funding, otherwise the billboard blows in the wind.  We all have our own opinions, perspectives and unfounded insights to who-what-when and why.  Jim looks at from a southerners point of view.  This article doesn’t quite meet the needs of many questions not yet answered.  Jim is skidding right up the behind of the government.

#9. Posted by General Mills on August 08, 2018

Good to see the legislature recognizing we don’t leave in camps any more and need new kinds of leaders with modern skills and the ability to work with and respect better educated people than himself.

Quassa is a bully.
Good riddance.

#10. Posted by Igloolikmiut on August 08, 2018

Who’s Paul Quassa? I live in Igloolik. He lives in Iqaluit.  How can he represent us if he would ratherlive where his family has more resources.

#11. Posted by Observer on August 08, 2018

“The traditions kept us alive and we wouldn’t be here today without them.”

And if people lived the same way as they did back then, then saying that those traditions should be maintained would be entirely justified. But they don’t, they shouldn’t, and it isn’t.

Whatever else Quassa might have or have not done, stating that his belief was that everything should be done his way and only his way made him unfit to lead the government all by itself.

#12. Posted by Nuna land on August 08, 2018

It hardly matters who the leader is.  Inuit still are marginalized.  Not with standing the language, Inuit are still small time players in their own homeland.

Nunavut remains bureaucrates home-rule.  This is just wrong. 

The true leader will see that Inuit are the valued as talented and skilled enough to work all parts of government and business of territory.

#13. Posted by pagan on August 08, 2018

Why not just what it really is (old boys school).. The former premier is a member of it BUT those days are gone and we’ve progressed and far better educated than we were 30-40 years ago. Now, we pay attention to up and coming young leaders but still hold on to our traditions

#14. Posted by Free on August 08, 2018

Fall from Grace from just two years ago, when this very newspaper declared him to be a “Star”

#15. Posted by Nunavummiu on August 08, 2018

#11 you and your shitty ass 1980s mentality. Maybe he didn’t want to spend 20 dollars on 1 pop?

Igloolik isn’t the greatest community to live in anyway. Men still treat women with no respect over there.

- a keyboard warrior (like you)

#16. Posted by Pete’s on August 08, 2018

this is repeat same old story, it does not make any clear why he was remove it as these MLA dislike it him while his community Love it him and Vote it him. and again, if the excuse was about Northern Light trip it was only little $600k and he invest his peoples to be known throughout the Country and Internationally if they were there. to the point it is still said MLA were conflicting.

#17. Posted by olaf on August 08, 2018

Paul Quassa gave hope to so many.
Whether you realize it or not or know it or not, people celebrated when he was proclaimed Premier.
People felt he ‘got it’ in that he remembered what Nunavut was supposed to be about.
He knew the Vision Statement and adhered to what the people had said.
He realized Nunavut had gotten way off track from what the people wanted and tried to correct it.
Yes, younger MLAS who understood so much less and had no sense of history prior to 1999, may want all cozy consultations, but they lacked the big picture; he didn’t.
There was a real sadness over the land when they removed him without consultation with anyone - Nunavummiut saw the Vision going down the drain and all their hopes for real change with it.
It has since been proved that side meetings at the Northern Lights more than paid for the costs of hosting it and travelling to it, many more hundred of thousands of dollars were gained for Nunavut.  That was success.

It takes money to get mones=y.

#18. Posted by Vicki Aitaok on August 09, 2018

The point of the editorial is that Nunavut is moving forward.
Excellent news!

#19. Posted by concerned on August 09, 2018

Maybe we are looking at this the wrong way, who was left out of caucus after the election? Blame should all be on George Hicks, he lost the most after the last election, no portfolio, and he is power hungry. Any Premier trying to make meaningful changes within the government needs to be applauded, and not chucked out. Throw out the old guard, DM’s and ADM’s, they are the ones running the government, our ministers are just signatory’s.

#20. Posted by Sari manaq on August 09, 2018

One community, one leader… I don’t think so. Such ‘leaders’ didn’t last long. Small camps with few families did not have just one autocratic leader. Quassa has a distorted view of camp leaders, at least where we are from in other parts of Nunavut. Leaders for the most part did not lead by themselves. Elders gave advice, women and wives provided input, hunters decided together who wanted to hunt where for the day, leaders asked others for input. That is how our people in central and south parts of Baffin led. There were individuals who were autocratic and were quickly known as such. Their relatives would leave them behind. We knew a few and it’s their descendants who think they have the baton handed down to them. They are bullies and arrogant to this day including the head of GN staff. Many points in comments made above are well made. Harper will defend Bell anyway.

#21. Posted by freedom is a doubl-edged sword on August 09, 2018

#2. John Metuq you are the perfect example of the dangers of freedom of speech. You jump to criticize something relying on your ignorance of the terminology applied.The author used the word ‘weasel’ in a different context than the only one you seem to know. Weasel words or phrases are vague and could be later denied if challenged. Before you criticize someone, how about educating yourself about the subject first?

#22. Posted by robert on August 09, 2018

Paul Quassa is one of many individuals in positions of influence and responsibility in Nunavut that should be forbidden from applying for such positions. In any other jurisdiction he would not even dream of being elected: criminal record, lack of education, zero accomplishments ..etc. He pushed it too much to get other MLAs to overthrow him, but among those MLAs, the majority shouldn’t be in their places either. Worse, those that were not re-elected are given undeserved higher positions elsewhere. #HopelessNU

#23. Posted by some inuk on August 09, 2018

#4 , I don’t think the party system works. Political party’s are designed to allow only a select few to hold power. And it takes many of the same minded people to get those few into power. The power the few holds is too great, it diminishes the overall power of the people. With the system we have in place in Nunavut,it is the type of system the Americans should have. Imagine the americans throwing out Trump the way we did with Quasa. Nunavutmiut had the power to over throw Quasa and they did it. They used their right and it worked out for the better. We are a in a way a better democracy in practice than the americans themselves. We are not segregated by political party’s up here in Nunavut, we citizens have a voice, a powerful voice united and untethered by ideals of political party’s.

#24. Posted by eskimo joe on August 09, 2018

best editorial yet, i have known the former premier all my adult life, he sure is a bully and loyal to those (private and organizations alike) who do him a little things, easy to manipulate for sure. good move mla s. you have done Nunavut a favor, keep up the good work.

#25. Posted by Northern Inuit on August 09, 2018

so who was at this meeting to oust Mr Quassa?

who was watching in anticipation from the sidelines from Kitikmeot Inuit Association; Kivalliq Inuit Association and Baffin Inuit Association? 

how did Mr Quassa feel about the Nunavut Land Use Plan?  how was the process coming along?  more consultations? 

now that our new Premier is in power, who is fine Friends with Ms Bennett, how is that coming along now? 

is the Nunavut Land Use Plan being fast tracked? 

a wise man once said, “who benefited?  who has the power to cover it up?”

#26. Posted by pootoogook on August 09, 2018

Paul Quassa understood the people.  We had faith in him.
Big mistake on part of MLAs. They could have used their power in numbers to sit down and talk with him, like Inuit Values say.

#27. Posted by Fake Plastic Tree on August 09, 2018

#27 By the looks of it “Inuit values” are whatever suit the person using them in a given situation.

Let me give you an example:

According to IQ: Aajiiqatigiinniq is decision making through discussion and consensus.

Compare that with Mr. Quassa’s statement that “whatever the leader says was the only way to do it. That’s what a leader was supposed to do, and it should be like that today.”

These don’t square up. So which is the real “Inuit way”? It can’t be both.

#28. Posted by Tagak Curley on August 09, 2018

It may be tempting to feel sorry for Paul Quassa or rage against other members of the Legislative Assembly for revoking their appointment of premiership. My take is that Paul hasn’t lost anything. Premiership or appointment, in this case vote of confidence, is the discretion of the members.
Confidence vote is the best democratic tool however it normally use by opposition body in our elected bodies. There is a solution to this unseemingly unfair practice, Nunavut must elect the premier of our Government. It is the only way that would ensure premier last till end of the Assembly’s term unless vote of confidence revoke the whole assemby by a majority vote in the house.

#29. Posted by Iynsane on August 09, 2018

Reference to 1993 politics is revealing; just goes to show white privilege has been restored across GN ✊

#30. Posted by Inuk on August 09, 2018

#12 hardly a reason to call it simple minded valorizations. Inuit are alive and well because of those ways.

#31. Posted by Native on August 10, 2018

Very proud of the MLA’s for making a stand when they see something wrong and dealing with it. It’s hard to pick a good leader but even harder to stand up and say we were wrong and making the change.

Now let’s see what we can do about Tootoo.

#32. Posted by Curious to know on August 10, 2018

#31 Your post would be bang on if #12 actually said any of that. Who are you talking to anyway? The sounds inside your head?

#33. Posted by Observer on August 10, 2018

#27, “Paul Quassa understood the people.  We had faith in him.”

Why? Unless you’re one of 22 people, you had absolutely no say in him being premier or not.

That’s what’s hilarious about all the people complaining about him being voted out. He was voted out by the exact same group that voted him in, so what’s the problem?

#34. Posted by Time to move on JB on August 10, 2018

Your disdain for Inuit leaders who get things done has past your time Mr. Bell.  You will never have to live with the consequences of any Nunavut decision in your far away digs in Ottawa!  We were actually seeing changes of Inuit assuming control in senior positions and it was too scary for non-Inuit.

It will be nice to be able to vote for our own leader one day so we will not have to put up with these directionless MLA and faraway editors who try to influence how we should govern ourselves.

#35. Posted by Inuk on August 10, 2018

#34 obviously you are too simple minded to understand what is going on. Did you even read the article? Please read the second last paragraph in the article.

#36. Posted by pootoogook on August 10, 2018

Paul is a good man.  He ‘gets it” and was sensitive to how Inuit really felt, working for this kind of government, which is not what we wanted at all.
The newer MLAs lack real knowledge of our values and our ways; they just ganged up on him instead of sitting down with him to describe how they felt and work out something that all could live with.
Ottawa is still jabbering away about this and the bizarre behaviour they exhibited.
The new Premier may think he is educated but many Inuit think he is too Kadlunaq and have always felt that in his Constituency. Ottawa will be nice to his face, but not behind his back.

#37. Posted by Monica Connolly on August 12, 2018

Contrary to Jim Bell’s claim, there is no evidence at all in the public record that Paul Quassa lied to the Legislative Assembly on May 25. Paul said the NL trip was “not mandatory”. On June 11, four (not five) of six ministers questioned said they had been “directed” to attend. The other two said they had been “encouraged to go” and had “agreed to go”.
The two words are not identical in meaning, and both also cover a range of duty owed. For example, it is “mandatory” for a new-hire teacher in many places to pass a police-record check: no police check, no paycheck. On the other hand, failure to do some task “directed” by the principal will seldom affect your employment unless repeated. You cannot make a charge of lying out of a quibble on word definitions among people mostly speaking a second language. Even less can you do so when participants in the conversation disagreed on the tone of comments made.
Lying was the worst charge leveled against Mr. Quassa, and it has no merit.

#38. Posted by Jim Bell on August 12, 2018

Monica, the semantic argument you give is meaningless, a distinction without a difference, tarted up by a false analogy.

Also, the editorial does not say that Paul Quassa lied. It said, supported by evidence in the public domain, that he made a false statement. This is a reasonable conclusion that a reasonable person could reach based on the evidence. There’s a possibility that it was an overt lie, but it was more likely a carelessly deceptive misrepresentation that fell just short of a lie. In plain language, it was a piece of humbug, or bullshit.

And it’s not just me who suggested that Quassa made false statements. Multiple MLAs also did so, including at least one cabinet minister, on June 14.

This is the first time in the history of the Nunavut and NWT legislatures that an entire cabinet (except for one minister) turned against a sitting premier and participated with regular MLAs in the removal of a premier. That on its own is evidence of political incompetence. A premier who alienates six of seven cabinet colleagues and 16 of 22 MLAs after only seven or eight months in office is clearly incapable of accomplishing much of anything.

For me his greatest fault was his authoritarian, far-right definition of leadership. I believe that posed the greatest long-term threat to the health of the GN, which sources tell me is only now coming out of a state of paralysis that started not long after he took office.

To refresh your memory, here’s a link to a tweet that Adam Arreak Lightstone sent out on June 14. Note his use of the phrases “fractured cabinet” and “misleading statements in the house” and “public servants living in fear.” They had no choice but to take him out, and take him out fast, before the end of the last sitting.

#39. Posted by Leader Paul Quassa has courage on August 13, 2018

As from your point of view Jim Bell, I get the sense you are maybe looking for a job change?  Where were you in 1993 and before, to be able to grasp the mind and heart of Inuit, in their desire to become autonomous?  How rich are the hard core words used to describe modern day changes within the Government of Nunavut, and no where near the wealth of words used in 1993.  Leader Paul Quassa was chosen, and for good reason.  Changing the past 18 years of what has costed some of the people of Nunavut their lives, does not happen over 7 months.  The detangling will now cease because the Leadership has been replace, not with a mentor, but with the same views of the past 18 years.  Courage is to face what is in front and stand, not what one can hide behind.

#40. Posted by Monica Connolly on August 13, 2018

Tagak Curley (#28) has it right (as usual) about electing the premier directly. Although all Canadian legislatures technically elect PM or premier indirectly, in jurisdictions with parties, voters know who their local candidates support as leader. Nunavummiut do not know, and need more control in this.
At the same time, Tagak’s suggestion that the Legislative Assembly be able to oust the premier by triggering an election strikes a nice balance between responsibility and stability.

#41. Posted by B Aglukark on August 14, 2018

(1of3) Mr. Bell, the argument between the two of you (M&J) is more or less meaningless. To Inuit its gibberish.  And, this is where the MLA’s who played a role in Mr. Quassa’s removal want the discussion to be. There is a bigger picture being ignored, and it’s at the cusp of falling apart. Moving “Inuit” (Nunavut) back to the pre-1998 days. Both of you are isolated and distant from it’s environment and may not understand the potential implications and may be ignorant to it. The intent and purpose of the land claims agreement, the Nunavut Act and the “Foot Prints In the Snow” 1 & 2. These documents outline and hi-lite one of the most important achievements in Inuit History. Giving a major say and control to Inuit, their values, their lifestyle and language “how we live” & “who we are”. The 1991 plebiscite to split the NWT territory was just that. It was to minimize western influence & it’s control of Inuit at minimum.

#42. Posted by B Aglukark on August 14, 2018

(2of3)Yes,this is the first time in the history of the two territorial legislatures a sitting premier has been removed.  And, as I read Mr. Bell’s editorial, the “fear factor” (instilled in those who would loose control, loose jobs) is one of the reasons for the MLA’s actions. We all know, a change in government brings a “new vision” a “new direction”. I believe this is what Mr. Quassa was doing.  Moving towards a major change in the direction of this government. To accomplish this, “major change” in it’s staff who are known to be totally ignorant to Inuit values was required. These same folks that cried fowl would have known their employment at the GN was about to come to an “end”.  One of the many required moves to accomplish “change”. Trudeau, Obama, Trump, Harper all made.Further, anyone can accuse a politician of “political incompetence”, or “alienate its members”.  These are one of the basic tell tell signs that “potential change” is on the horizon, normal operating procedure,

#43. Posted by B Aglukark on August 14, 2018

(3of3)Mr.Savikataaq did exactly that the moment he was appointed Premier, no one including you cried “fowl”. This was far from being a “fault” of Mr. Quassa, all he doing was bringing “change” to a system that failed and is failing community values. Mr Bell, your fear regarding the “health”of the GN, as told to you I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this “fear” is from those that instinctive new their visions were not in line with what Mr. Quassa was about to impose.
Finally, just because a new leader is bringing about a strategic shift in policy don’t mean he has an authoritarian approach or is using far-right tactics by whatever definition you’re using. Mr Obama and Trudeau made same kind of changes in their respective governments.  Both leaders are radically liberal minded to say the least.

The mla’s that played a role in Mr Quassa’s removal should be totally ashamed of themselves, and clearly speaks volume that they do not believe in what Inuit can accomplish.

#44. Posted by MP for Nunavut on August 14, 2018

B Aglukark for MP

#45. Posted by Fair or Fowl on August 14, 2018

B Aglukark for spelling remediation!

In post #43, he points out that when Savikataaq was appointed Premier, nobody cried “fowl.”

Maybe that’s because they were too chicken.

#46. Posted by Northern Exposure Man on August 15, 2018

Paul Quassa may have been the right man at the right time when they were negotiating the Land Claim Agreement. Today, different leadership is needed in the Territory. Quassa was replaced by legal means and for the right reasons. Get over it.

Good luck to Joe Savikataaq and the new cabinet, there is plenty of real work to be done and difficult decisions to be made. All Nunavumiut will be better served by this change. Let the new administration be judged on its actions.

#47. Posted by Shawn Panniuq Karetak on August 15, 2018

I sort of have to agree with B Aglukark on this one. Our previous governments had taken the wrong turn when it decided that equality of outcome would solve the low graduation rates. Quassa recognized that and as soon as he came into power he took the liberty to steer nunavut back into the right direction.

Another one was to focus on Inuit employment, and to give Inuit training opportunities to move upwards within the governments organization. Atleast that’s what he said he wanted to emphasize.

But I do not think that he should have spent half a million dollars at the NL. I think that it should still have taken place, but the spend shouldn’t have necessarily been that high. As for the devolution negotiations, I think that he should have left awa there. I could imagine that it would have been hard for Paul Okalik to maintain any momentum and progress that Awa may have made.

But, with all that being said, I think that the removal was fair. Now they know they will be held accountable.

#48. Posted by Monica Connolly on August 15, 2018

(1 of 2) Despite Jim’s editorial, Nunavut voters still have not been told exactly why Paul Quassa was removed as Premier. Misleading statements? None quoted. Overspending? Trivial. Bad leadership? No details, and no evidence of the sort of meeting to resolve the situation that you would expect under IQ.
On the other hand, there is evidence of a plan for changing government dating as far back as February, when Regular MLAs decided to dispense with the usual mid-term review of Premier and Cabinet and to track their performance daily. This power, quite legal under Nunavut law, puts the Premier and Cabinet in a constant state of minority government. In the last week of the Assembly, speakers were co-ordinated to a remarkable degree, both in questions and statements on June 11, 12 and 14. It was surely no coincidence that the vote took place on the afternoon of the last day before summer break.

#49. Posted by Monica Connolly on August 15, 2018

(2 of 2) With evidence against Mr. Quassa both vague and contrived, those of us who watched the debates could only wonder what exactly was going on. Was it Mr. Quassa’s style that was under attack, or his policies? (See also Ms Arnaquq-Baril’s questions on Mr. Lightstone’s Tweet, above.) But who would admit to opposing pro-Inuit policies? Better to stay vague. The MLAs owe their constituents a far more open explanation before the Assembly reconvenes.
More important in the long term is that the Nunavut Act needs tweaking. Any organization that is seen as subject to a change of leadership at any time loses public credibility. The Prime Minister, the provincial premiers, and the Yukon premier are all secure unless their party is a minority government; the NWT chooses not to use arbitrary recall; only Nunavut switches premiers in two days.
Nunavummiut would prefer to elect their premier directly; Tagak’s suggestion above would allow for responsibility. Go for it.

#50. Posted by Voter on August 16, 2018

We have to continue to ask these questions and demand answers! The new Premier and the MLAs involved want this to be swept under the rug and forgotten about.

Let’s keep asking and demanding answers from our MLA. Keep the pressure up.

#51. Posted by B Aglukark on August 16, 2018

(1 of 3) No one person can possibly judge for themselves whether it was right to remove Mr. Quassa as our Premier. Despite all of the ramblings on twitter, online papers and FB.There is no definitive evidence and with no representation and or communication to or from constituents on the decision to remove Mr. Quassa as our leader.One can only conclude, without a clear explanation -this act was deliberate and selfish.It still baffles me how one can come to a decision and agree with what played out in June without a proper explanation. Couple of points to consider 1) Under cabinet solidarity, ministers are prohibited from sharing details about how decisions are made within the Executive Council meetings 2) Regular members are expected to be transparent (open) with their constituents about how they reach a particular decision.They are not bound to such rules of confidentiality.

#52. Posted by B Aglukark on August 16, 2018

(2of3) 3) In his statement, Mr.Savikataaq stated,about the June 14, 2018 motion of non-confidence, that the motion was designed purely by the MLAs who sit on as regular members.  Therefore, the specific reasons used to remove Mr. Quassa as Premier are not confidential and should be freely shared to the public immediately.
So, Mr. John Main, just as when he is showboating in the legislature, rambling on – requesting members to be “specific”, he should feel just as comfortable to respond to this request. In his motion, he states that it was Mr. Quassa’s “leadership style” and alleged “misleading statements” in the legislature that influenced the regular members’ decision to introduce the motion. Give us clear and specific examples of the “the leadership style” that invoked the motion, and;
Give us clear and specific examples of alleged “misleading statements” made in the legislature.  Again, I remind you, as a regular member, you are not bound to confidentiality.

#53. Posted by B Aglukark on August 16, 2018

What is also really scary and unnerving is, to this point, NTI has not voiced an opinion on these recent events. I find this silence unfortunate because I believe that Quassa demonstrated a great deal of support for the values that NTI espouses. In his short time as Premier, Quassa’s actions affirmed that he would prioritize Inuit values and the rights of Inuit – our culture and language – throughout his government’s term.  I really am not surprised about NTI’s silence though, they are after all, just a translations department for the federal government.

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