Nunavut cabinet opts to not replace minister who resigned last week

Former justice minister Craig Simailak cited family obligations for leaving executive council

Craig Simailak is seen here on April 21, 2022, the day he was elected to join cabinet. Following his resignation last week, the legislative assembly has decided not to add a new cabinet minister. (File photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Nunatsiaq News

Nunavut’s legislative assembly will not choose a new cabinet minister following Craig Simailak’s decision to step down last week.

Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq, who chairs the full caucus, said in a news release that members made the decision following a meeting last week.

He said caucus decides how many ministers should be in cabinet, “being mindful of such considerations as the need to ensure that the accountability of the executive branch to the legislative branch is maintained.”

Last Thursday, Simailak cited his work and family life balance as his reason to step down from cabinet. He is staying on as the MLA for Baker Lake.

He served 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.

Premier P.J. Akeeagok has taken over the Qulliq portfolio and Environment Minister David Akeeagok is now minister of justice.


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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by delbert on

    Nice to see existing a ministers and the Premier splitting up . The portfolios of a minister who is giving up his. Will there be extra compensation paid. To these two? For taking on these portfolios?
    They already proven to the people of Nunavut. That there are not very capable of looking after their current responsibility. It looks as if these two are getting greedy.

  2. Posted by Wait, what? on

    if the concern is the balance between Members of the Legislature and the Cabinet why not remove Simailak from Cabinet, then appoint someone else?

    • Posted by Seems like on

      Seems like almost a punishment to not put someone else into cabinet. Like it’s gonna be more work for ministers now. Maybe the regular members are afraid to go into cabinet. That one appears to be a bit of a “hot seat”? Unstable government. Again.

      • Posted by Pork Pie the pundit on

        I don’t buy that there are members who are afraid to join cabinet. The reputational and potential career gains over time must outweigh any short-term concerns that might be had around the competence of the current government, legitimate as those may be (isn’t this always an issue with our governments?).

        One thing this shows is how unserious these posts really are. For example, David Akeeagok is now Minister of the following: Environment, Justice, Minister responsible for Labour, Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions, Minister responsible for Human Rights Tribunal.

        One person is unlikely to excel at any one portfolio when they are carrying such a large bundle. Of course, he will likely focus on the larger ones, but what does that tell us about the smaller ones?

        Either way, if you are serious about it a portfolio like Justice should stand alone.

        • Posted by Ian on

          PORK CHOP, you should run for MLA, and cabinet, you seem to have all the answers , another keyboard warrior, or as we say kitchen politician, talk the talk, walk the walk

  3. Posted by No, not Me on

    It’s easier to criticize from across the room, than to do develop the ideals needed to improve living conditions in Nunavut and to do the work to implement those ideas.
    This government has it’s mandate. It is a very ambitious mandate. There are only 31 months left to achieve the objectives set in that mandate. Today the Premier reported on mandate progress to date. It sounded good, unless you looked a little deeper.
    For example, he reported that 262 students graduated from high school in 2020-2021. That sounds good, until you consider that about 1,000 students start school every year. Then you wonder what happened to the other 778 students. If you look a little deeper, you start to wonder how many of those 262 graduates were Inuit receiving academic graduations and how many Inuit received general graduations. If you look deeper still, how many Inuit academic graduates went on to university, and how many continued into second year at a university?
    Part of the mandate of this government is to improve educational outcomes. Without such data, we really don’t know. But the fact that the GN is not providing the information speaks very loud, indeed.
    Perhaps no other MLAs want to become Cabinet members because they do not want to personally wear this mandate.

    • Posted by Ian on

      Right 778 did not finish and never did in the past l, help out stop being a critic and invest in your community, keepboard warriors all the same help out and make your community better

      • Posted by No, Not Me on

        I tutor.
        I also provide incentives to graduate.
        What do you do?

  4. Posted by Arctic hamster on

    It’s unfortunate to see a devoted MLA leave the cabinet. How can we expect a single person to maintain care of such big folios and stay healthy and maintain control of work-life balance. Good that he stays on to represent his community. He worked very hard to fulfill his role as Minister he’ll do great at representing his community.

  5. Posted by hermann kliest on

    Been Minister is not a situation your constituents wants you to be; look at Whale Cove, desperate little community for a visit and talk to their MLA whom they say have never been heard a beep from. WC don’t worry, he’ll be around three months before the next general election. Then you will once again be important.

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