'I think it's sad the GN can't retain someone who's a 'professional;.'

Tootoo's loss 'a black mark,' Workman says


The sudden departure of Victor Tootoo, the Government of Nunavut's former deputy minister of the executive, is "a black mark" on the territory, says Doug Workman, president of the Nunavut Employees Union.

"I'm very disappointed in Victor's resignation. Victor, I found, to be a very professional senior manager," Workman said. "He will be missed."

Tootoo, who resigned Jan. 18, was deputy minister of executive and intergovernmental affairs. Previously, he worked as a deputy minister of human resources, and as assistant deputy minister for a number of departments, including finance.

Tootoo is probably the first Inuk in Nunavut to become a certified general accountant. Workman said the GN can't afford to lose qualified, educated Inuit such as Tootoo.

"I think it's sad the GN can't retain someone who's a professional," Workman said. "To me, it's a black mark on the GN."

It was Tootoo's role as deputy minister of human resources that led Workman to work with him most closely. Despite the sometimes-frosty relationship between the union and government, Workman described Tootoo as "thoughtful and certainly respectful, even though I may not have been."

Workman largely lost contact with Tootoo after his transfer to EIA, a department Workman describes as a "black hole" where "not much gets accomplished."

As deputy minister, Tootoo would have reported directly to the premier.

Tootoo's resignation was announced in a terse press release issued by the premier's office Jan 16. Tootoo has said he plans to start his own accounting practice.

The big question, as Workman says, is why Tootoo resigned. And he isn't saying.

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