Nunavut legislature accepts Integrity Commissioner’s Okalik report

Okalik leaves chamber before MLAs vote 11-3 in favour of motion


MLAs voted Monday to accept the integrity commissioner’s report on Paul Okalik’s election fundraising practices, but it wasn’t unanimous.

Eleven MLAs voted in favour of the motion, brought forward by housing minister Hunter Tootoo. But three—Tununiq MLA James Arvaluk, health minister Tagak Curley and education minister Louis Tapardjuk—voted against.

The report, tabled in the house last week, found Okalik violated Nunavut’s integrity act during last year’s territorial election, when his campaign approached deputy ministers in the Government of Nunavut for donations.

Okalik, who was still premier during the campaign and retained the power to hire and fire deputy ministers, complained Monday he was the only candidate in that election who could violate the Integrity Act for seeking those donations.

He also objected to the delay between when the complaint was filed against him by Tootoo in October, 2008 and when it was tabled in the house last week.

“It is a little difficult to follow the laws when they’re being applied after the fact,” Okalik told the assembly.

The MLA for Iqaluit West said he would abide by the assembly’s decision. And he said he’d leave the house for the rest of the debate on the motion, so MLAs could speak more freely.

With that, Okalik stood up, bowed to the Mace, and left the chamber.

Baker Lake MLA Moses Aupaluktuq, currently facing drunk driving charges, abstained from Monday’s vote.

Okalik, Nattilik MLA Enuk Pauloosie, and Pangnirtung MLA Adamee Komoartok, who apologized last week for a drunken incident in Ottawa, were not in the house when the vote was recorded.

More to follow

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