Graham Steele, a former Nova Scotia MLA and finance minister, will be Nunavut’s next information and privacy commissioner. (Photo courtesy of Graham Steele/Twitter)

Nunavut MLAs appoint new information and privacy commissioner

Graham Steele, a lawyer and former Nova Scotia MLA, will begin his five-year term in January

By Dustin Patar

Graham Steele, a former Nova Scotia MLA, will be Nunavut’s next information and privacy commissioner.

Steele was appointed following a motion that was unanimously adopted in the legislative assembly on Monday, Nov. 2.

“Graham Steele’s professional background in law, academia and public service make him very well-qualified for this important position,” said Paul Quassa, Speaker of the legislative assembly.

Steele has had a 30-year career as a lawyer and was Nova Scotia’s finance minister. Among other roles, he also spent time as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, holds four degrees, has authored several articles and books, and was a 2014 finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen prize for political writing.

The information and privacy commissioner is an independent officer of the legislative assembly and is responsible for independent oversight of the Government of Nunavut regarding access to information and privacy matters, which are defined in the territory’s Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Steele will succeed Nunavut’s current information and privacy commissioner, Elaine Keenan Bengts, who has held the position for more than two decades and is set to retire.

Since March, when her term ended, Keenan Bengts has stayed in the position part-time until it could be filled, a process that she noted had been slowed by the ongoing pandemic.

In Keenan Bengts’ final commissioner’s message, part of her office’s annual report, she welcomed the then-yet-to-be-chosen next commissioner and wished them the best.

Steele will begin his five-year term in January 2021.

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(3) Comments:

  1. Posted by Bonnie Hart on

    Graham Steele is the perfect choice. Your gain is our loss in Nova Scotia. He is admired so much here and will be an asset there. All the best.

  2. Posted by Catherine Young on

    Mr. Steele is a very qualified & impressive candidate. He will do a very good job for Nunavut.

  3. Posted by Valerie Payn on

    Congratulations, Graham! So pleased for you. It looks exciting and challenging, with the opportunity to make a difference.

    Nunavut is fortunate, indeed, to have attracted you to this position. You will do them well. All around good news. Best regards, Valerie

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