Robert Stanbury to retire March 31

Assembly appoints acting ethics advisor


Robert Stanbury, Nunavut's longstanding integrity commissioner, will retire from office March 31 to be replaced for the time being by David Jones, the Yukon's conflict of interest commissioner.

Stanbury, 78, is Nunavut's first and only integrity commissioner, having served in that job since July 1, 2001, when Nunavut's Integrity Act came into force.

A legislative assembly news release issued last week said Stanbury will retire "for reasons of health and family obligations."

Jones becomes acting integrity commissioner on April 1. He'll serve in that position until the legislative assembly votes to appoint a new integrity commissioner.

"Jones is an exceptionally well-qualified individual to hold this position," Speaker Peter Kilabuk said.

A Rhodes scholar with degrees from McGill and Oxford universities, Jones has served as conflict of interest commissioner for Yukon since 2002.

John Quirke, clerk of the assembly, said the recruiting process begins this week with the placement of advertisements in northern newspapers and the Globe and Mail.

The integrity commissioner is an independent officer of the legislative assembly hired by MLAs, not the Government of Nunavut, and may be appointed only after a vote among all members.

A news release says the assembly's Ajauqtiit standing committee will use a "merit-based process" to select a person whose name they will then recommend to the House.

Quirke said it's possible this could be done by May, when the assembly is expected to reconvene in Iqaluit.

Stanbury, a distinguished lawyer, corporate executive and former politician, began his close relationship with the North in the early 1970s.

As minister responsible for citizenship and immigration in Pierre Trudeau's first Liberal government, Stanbury conducted citizenship consultations in the North and helped launch the Anik satellite system, which revolutionized communications in the North.

An expert in administrative law, Stanbury was a founding member of the Nunavut Arbitration Board, served as president of the Canadian Council for Native Business, and worked for Firestone Canada, where he rose to CEO.

The integrity commissioner's job is to advise MLAs and cabinet ministers on ethical issues and to conduct reviews when members are alleged to have breached the Integrity Act.

Stanbury's most recent report appeared Jan. 3, when he recommended that Baker Lake MLA David Simailak apologize for failing to disclose an interest in Kangiqlniq Developments Inc.

His next task is to review more information related to Simailak's business interests that came to light earlier this month at legislative committee hearings on the Nunavut Business Credit Corp.

Quirke said Stanbury will continue his work until March 31. On April 1, Jones will handle any leftover matters.

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