Nunavut MLAs remove Patterk Netser from cabinet

Members will vote in new cabinet minister during leadership forum

Patterk Netser, MLA for Aivilik, was removed from Nunavut’s cabinet today. He will continue to represent his riding as a regular member. Members will vote in a new cabinet minister during a leadership forum in the near future. (File photo)

By Meagan Deuling
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nunavut’s MLAs voted today to remove Patterk Netser from cabinet.

“I didn’t take any pleasure from doing this,” said Premier Joe Savikataaq, who brought forward the motion to remove the MLA for Aivilik.

“But it’s a decision that had to be made.”

The move comes after Netser made a social media post earlier this month about the Black Lives Matter movement and abortion that Savikataaq called “unacceptable.”

A majority of members, 14, voted in favour of the motion. Three voted against it—Netser, Netsilik MLA Emiliano Qirngnuq, and Gjoa Haven MLA Tony Akoak.

David Qamaniq, MLA for Tununiq, abstained from voting.

Elisapee Sheutiapik, MLA for Iqaluit–Sinaa, and Cathy Towtongie, MLA for Rankin Inlet North–Chesterfield Inlet, are not present at this sitting for medical reasons.

Adverse weather prevented Margaret Nakashuk, MLA for Pangnirtung, from attending the sitting this week.

Paul Quassa, Speaker of the House, said that Nakashuk is supposed to fly to Iqaluit this weekend. Members are waiting for Nakashuk to arrive before holding a leadership forum to vote a member into cabinet to take Netser’s position, Quassa said.

Meanwhile, Quassa said the regular business of the legislative assembly will resume on Monday afternoon whether or not Netser’s position has been filled by that time.

Netser was the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corp. and Nunavut Arctic College. These portfolios have been temporarily assigned to Savikataaq and David Joanasie, respectively.

Adam Lightstone, member for Iqaluit–Manirajak, seconded Savikataaq’s motion.

“The member should have known better,” Lightstone said of Netser while debating the motion.

“The comments made were unbefitting for an elected official, let alone a cabinet member.”

However, Netser continued to defend himself. He rose in the legislature to make a point of order while Savikataaq brought his motion forward, saying, “I never raised any issues on ethnic groups.”

“I spoke out on behalf of unborn babies across Canada that have been aborted, and I had no intention of saying any racial remarks towards any ethnic group.”

Since he was stripped of his cabinet positions on Oct. 8, Netser has continually said that he has a right to freedom of speech.

“Freedom of expression does not equal freedom from consequence,” Lightstone said in response to that. “The fact that the minister is still defending his position leads me to believe that there is no remorse for his actions.”

Jeannie Ehaloak, member for Cambridge Bay, rose to say that Nunavummiut have the right to receive services from their government without fear of discrimination.

“When a cabinet minister makes these types of statements, it can bring into question the impartiality of the government with respect to delivery of services,” she said.

Qirngnuq was the only member who voted against the motion to address it in the house.

In Inuktitut, he said he’s not comfortable with the motion because the note Netser wrote that caused offence wasn’t written in the house.

“We have to think that the constituents are the ones who got us to this house,” he said.

Netser will continue to represent his riding of Aivilik as a regular member.

Share This Story

(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by Lolz on

    I can agree that he might not have meant to make a racist comments and only talk about abortions but the sad fact is that he made racist comments.

    See ya

  2. Posted by I live in the Arctic on

    good move, thank you.

    • Posted by Riding rogue on

      Lets not kid ourselves. The only reason they gave him the boot was because he made his comment on social media. Cabinet has covered up other racist and sexist leaders by paying them out and refusing to comment on their dismissal. Ain’t that the sad truth.

  3. Posted by Arctic Circle on


    Aivilliq region, ask him to step aside and resign. He must of felt so powerful saying all these negative words on social media, I feel he feels powerless now after being oust.

    Good call and all the MLAs and premier.

    Now to focus on real issues in Nunavut.

  4. Posted by Legalistic on

    Honourable MLA, Premier Joe Saikataaq, Not! He must be pompously walking about how he thinks he is in the right path within the world order. where most of the world thing this is just another pest removed from cabinet seat who is not worthy of a job to lead a people. Joe ought to have disciplined, correct atleast his colleague, and help his elected team of an important among many that need to be dealt with patiently. Instead he will tag along with the next Premiers& PM’s meeting thinking he is in the right. His own action to remove Peter Netser was done in haste. Shame on those who shoved him out.

  5. Posted by Marked off on

    This man Netser still thinks he’s right and so that’s the real problem. To himself he’s never been wrong and it’s shows what type of person he is. He picked on BLACK WOMEN. His Facebook doesn’t say anything about other women.
    We cannot have leaders who think they in the right all the time. This behaviour shows Nester is not a leader but still very immature. He needs to grow up and learn to take some responsibility for his actions. A Christian would humble and feel remorse.

  6. Posted by Name withheld on

    As Mr Lightstone said Mr Netser didn’t seem to have remorse for what said. Same as the daughter.

    It is sad when one become an elected official they seem to think everyone should follow and allow themselves to speak as they want “think out loud “ So many GN employees are doing the same exact thing during working hours too!!

    It is sad to see this kind of attitude in Nunavut but I’m very pleased to see they were removed as one elected official should always be mindful of what one says in and outside of regular work hours as you are an elected official 24 hours a day and how you represent yourself in any manner is watched all the time!!

    • Posted by Tis what it tis on

      That he hasn’t apologized is fine, he spoke with conviction and believes what he said; like it or not. This actually feels refreshing compared to the constant stream of self flagellation and canned recantations we hear from people who have committed ‘wrong speak’ in the public square; over run and piled on by the woke mob.

      • Posted by As usual on

        The NN comments section just wouldn’t be complete without incredible hyperbole about ‘wrongspeak’ and ‘woke mobs’…. Were you the person who mailed Netser concerns about people being “picked up and shipped into the dark of the night to one of the many new internment camps across Canada.” for saying something people don’t like?

        • Posted by Rising Star in the Comments on

          I like that you put on an irony clinic by referencing “incredible hyperbole” to describe this comment.

  7. Posted by Northern Guy on

    Predicted this would happen when Netser was voted into Cabinet. Let’s hope that the MLAs have learned from this and keep this guy far far away from the seat of power.

  8. Posted by Bizzare QAnon comments on

    Why why why didn’t you mention the truly bizarre letter Netser read from a supportive constituent who QAnon type BS about internment camps being built across Canada???
    This is the type of dangerous man we’re dealing with. He and other nunavumiut who follow these devious pastors are so so so far gone. I’m glad the overwhelming majority saw how far removed from reality he is and gave him the boot.

  9. Posted by BLM Patterson on

    Good riddance!

  10. Posted by A.K.A. Truestory on

    Nunavut politicians. The new generation of semi communists.

  11. Posted by Inuk on

    I hope he never runs for any public office again.

  12. Posted by Jay Arnakak on

    it is still ignorance of the history of slavery and class systems and what our institutions have done to slow-walk and generally delay the civil rights legislation for those with no connections to the system!

Comments are closed.