Nunavut government announces big senior management shake-up

QEC, NAC, Family Services get new bosses

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

The Government of Nunavut announced a major shakeup of senior civil servants late on Sept. 26, including new bosses for the Department of Family Services, the Qulliq Energy Corp. and Nunavut Arctic College.

Veteran bureaucrat Peter Ma, who took over QEC from Peter Mackey in November 2013, will leave the power corporation to become president of Nunavut Arctic College, effective Oct. 14, says a Sept. 26 GN news release.

Ma, who was brought in to clean house after Mackey was fired, just warned MLAs this week to brace for higher than expected replacement and upgrading costs to aging power plants in Nunavut.

Alain Barriault, president of the Nunavut Housing Corp. and one-time principal secretary to Premier Peter Taptuna, will now take Ma’s old job as head of QEC.

Barriault is no stranger to working with troubled Crown corporations plagued by embarrassing cost overruns. In 2010, he was brought in to head the NHC after it had racked up $110 million in cost overruns produced by two big social housing construction programs that were plagued by GN budgeting incompetence.

Mike Shouldice, who has worked with Nunavut Arctic College for two decades, including three years as president, will retire as of Oct. 25.

Rebekah Williams will become deputy minister of the Department of Family Services, leaving her current job as acting deputy minister of justice, a post she’s held since November 2013.

Williams, who served as MLA for Quttiktuq from 2000 to 2004, has a background in social work and nursing, the news release said.

Ottawa lawyer Elizabeth A.L. Sanderson, whose appointment was announced this past July, will start work as the permanent DM of justice Sept. 29.

Simon Awa, who has served as family services DM for less than six months, is currently on medical leave. The news release said he will be “reassigned to a senior position within the public service, effective Oct. 14.”

The Department of Family Services has come under repeated fire this year as a result of a comprehensive audit of services conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.

John MacDonald, who briefly acted as the deputy minister of Family Services, will now become assistant deputy minister of education.

Lastly, Naullaq Arnaquq, who just completed a two-year education leave to work on a PhD in educational studies, will resume her position as assistant deputy minister for the culture and heritage department.

“With these senior management changes, all the deputy minister level positions in our government have now been filled,” Taptuna said in the release.

“I look forward to new leadership in these departments, and to continued progress within these important portfolios,” Taptuna said.

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