'It's a no-brainer.'

Tootoo: MLAs will likely accept Simailak report


MLAs will likely say yes to a report by Integrity Commissioner Robert Stanbury that recommends MLAs reprimand Baker Lake MLA David Simailak for failing to disclose a business interest, says Iqaluit Centre MLA Hunter Tootoo, the chair of the assembly's standing committee on government operations.

"It's a no-brainer," Tootoo said in an interview. "It's pretty straightforward."

When the house reconvenes Feb. 19, MLAs must decide whether to accept or reject Stanbury's report, in its entirety, before taking any further action. If they accept it, Simailak must make an apology within 10 sitting days.

In the report, issued Jan. 3, Stanbury found that Simailak violated the integrity act four times, when he filed mandatory disclosure statements in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 that failed to state his ownership interest in Kangiqliniq Developments Ltd. of Rankin Inlet.

The Kangiqliniq firm, along with Ilagiiktut Ltd. of Rankin received $2 million in loans from the Nunavut Business Credit Corp. in 2005. Because Kangiqliniq is owned 100 per cent by Ilagiiktut, this violated the NBCC Act, which states that a single company, or more than one company with related ownership, may not receive more than $1 million,

Stanbury found that Simailak's breach was "inadvertent and not deliberate." But he said it meant that a record upon which the public is entitled to rely was left incomplete and inaccurate.

Tootoo said it's likely that members will have questions about Stanbury's report. For example, Tootoo said he wants to clarify the meaning of the term "reprimand" to find out if it might include punitive action.

Meanwhile, the standing committee on operations will likely sit again, starting the week of Feb. 4., when they will resume hearings on the Nunavut Business Credit Corp, Tootoo said.

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