Bloodletting ends at Nunavut Planning Commission

Interim chair and acting executive director take over


With a new interim chair, a new acting executive director and a freshly-minted quorum, the Nunavut Planning Commission met in Yellowknife last week to turn the page on a chaotic and embarrassing year.

The commission’s longstanding chairman and CEO, Bob Lyall, and the commission’s longstanding executive director, Luke Coady, left their jobs earlier this year, following the release of two reports: a management review by the Aarluk consulting firm, and a special audit report by the Mackay accounting firm.

They’ve been replaced, on a temporary basis, by Peter Kritaqliluk of Arviat, who was nominated as interim chairperson last week, and Adrian Boyd of Yellowknife, who is now serving as acting executive director.

A news release issued last week says Ron Roach has been appointed as a new commissioner.

Those two members will join existing commissioners Meeka Kilabuk, Frank Ipakohak and Pauloosie Kilabuk to form a quorum.

The Aarluk and Mackay reports were done after a group of five commissioners rebelled against the commission’s bosses this past May, alleging that Coady and Lyall prevented commissioners from seeing financial information, including annual auditor’s letters and information about salary increases.

The dispute reached an impasse after a complex chain of events on or around May 10 in Yellowknife, when a group of five commissioners met by themselves. At the same time, Lyall suspended future board meetings, and announced that Aarluk had been hired to do a management review.

Though disgruntled board members feared a whitewash, the 64-page Aarluk report turned up a long list of financial management and governance problems with the NPC, and made 25 recommendations to fix them.

The Aarluk report also made critical comments about Lyall’s leadership: “The chair does not appear to have played a strong leadership role in addressing the information needs of the commissioners, nor in proactively working with the commissioners to resolve the current issues,” the report said.

On the day the Aarluk report was released, Lyall announced he would not seek re-appointment as chair of the commission.

In last week’s news releases, the commission says that it has set up a strategic planning committee to create a new “strategic direction” for the commission.

The commission says though, that they’ll face “financial challenges” next year.

That includes a $140,000 deficit run up in its last fiscal year and possible severance payments to departing employees.

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