Craig Simailak resigns from cabinet

Baker Lake MLA said he couldn’t balance duties of being a minister with his family obligations

Baker Lake MLA Craig Simailak has announced his resignation as justice minister and minister responsible for Qulliq Energy Corp. He made the announcement in the legislative assembly Thursday morning. (Photo by Emma Tranter)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

This article was updated March 15 at 2:45 p.m.

Craig Simailak has resigned from cabinet.

The Baker Lake MLA stood in front of his peers Thursday morning at the legislative assembly in Iqaluit and announced he would step down from his posts as justice minister, minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corporation, minister responsible for labour, minister responsible for democratic institutions, and minister responsible for the human rights tribunal.

Simailak told his colleagues he was having trouble juggling his responsibilities with his family life.

“I couldn’t quite get the balance of it,” he said. “So, with a heavy heart I am announcing my resignation as minister, effective immediately.”

Simailak got up from his seat in the legislative assembly and left the room shortly after resigning.

Simailak was appointed justice minister and minister responsible for QEC on April 25, 2022, after Iqaluit-Manirajak MLA Adam Arreak Lightstone resigned from cabinet over a conflict of interest.

In a minister statement, Premier P.J. Akeeagok thanked Simailak for his work.

“I extend my appreciation for his service for Nunavummiut,” Akeeagok said. “As a cabinet, we look to continue to progress.”

For the time being, P.J. Akeeagok will take over QEC’s portfolio and Environment Minister David Akeeagok will assume the justice portfolio.

Clarification: This article has been updated to note that Adam Arreak Lightstone resigned from cabinet over a conflict of interest.


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(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by Observation Post on

    Interesting development. It does seem absurd to have one person in charge of so many portfolios.

  2. Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

    Good for him; that is what you call having a work- life balance in your life. You are expendable at work but not with your family. no one ever says I wish I spent more time at the office when one looks back on one’s life.

  3. Posted by Sergeant Prickles on

    I don’t buy it – there’s more to this than we’re being told.

    He was supposed to be up in committee of the whole later in the day for Justice’s budget, so now the acting minister is going to have to defend Justice’s budget some time over the next week.

    Unless he had an extremely bad case of stagefright, his spontaneous decision is not exactly honourable behaviour. He’s leaving his former cabinet colleagues in the lurch.

    • Posted by Putting this out there on

      Yup i get the work life balance but unless this is a 2 week notice kind of thing, kind of a waist to stay at the ledg. when you quite half way through. he should have finished his job and quit on the last or second last day so a new appointment could be made but he would still answer for the past year.

    • Posted by John WP Murphy on

      What makes you think it was spontaneous?
      Too many portfolios I suggest

      • Posted by Sergeant Prickles on

        You would never plan it this way, that’s why I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that it was spontaneous. Maybe he was forced out, I have no idea.

        Assuming he wasn’t forced out, if he had any concern for his colleagues, the department and crown corp he was presiding over or his own professional reputation for that matter, he would have waited another week until the budget bills were passed.

        It’s not like this move will increase his ability to have more family time over the next week since presumably he’s still stuck in Iqaluit.

  4. Posted by S on

    In most jurisdictions in Canada, ministers, MLAs, MPS, councilors, and pretty well every other elected official is over his or her head. This includes PMs, premiers and mayors. This is the circumstance in Nunavut as well.

    Generally, politicians have limited or no knowledge of or experience with business, management, science, math, technology, administration, culture, society, ethics, logic, health, education, life-long learning, humanity, law, contracts, or democracy. Why should we expect it’d be any different for Mr. Simailak?

  5. Posted by Pork Pie on

    This week in PJ’s Cabinet Gong Show… Keep the talent out and the hacks in over their heads.

  6. Posted by Ian on

    Pork chop , you mean the guys on the other side that sit there when they were in cabinet and spew everything their civil servants typed for them, alas you are good at recognizing talent what a gift

    • Posted by Pork Pie on

      When it comes to talent, the current iteration of cabinet is a veritable desert. As for what the “other side” is reading, link us to the briefing notes?

      • Posted by Ian on

        Pork chop,you sound like a bitter civil servant, or retired MLA, wasteland good one, that’s where the 3 billion goes

  7. Posted by Iikuluk on

    First: accrue wealth, power, and prestige, then lose it.

  8. Posted by Iikuluk on

    He couldn’t handle being a Justice Minister and QEC as his main goal was only for wealth and prestige. Why wasn’t Minister of Heritage be given the QEC portfolio. She’s on vacation everyday on a big salary. Regular MLAs are doing way more work than Ms Quassa. Note to the next minister: be more committed and live in Iqaluit if you want to be one.

    • Posted by Maq-Pat on

      Political criticism in Nunavut seems unfairly harsher against women. Department of Heritage has offices in Igloolik, being outside of Iqaluit is not being “on vacation”.

      • Posted by Iikuluk on

        Maq-Pat, it was in reference to the minister who has way less to do than the other ministers who have more than one portfolio. With the recent changes, it’s fair enough now. Clarification on Ministers who reside in another community, should stay in Iqaluit if they want to be ministers. Hope this is clearer and not directing to one minister.

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