Nunavut’s MLAs to debate on Friday whether to remove Patterk Netser from cabinet

Netser says he’s being punished “because of my Christian principles and values”

Patterk Netser, Nunavut’s MLA for Aivilik, stood in the legislature on Wednesday, Oct. 21, to make a lengthy statement about the fallout from a social media post he made that’s been decried as racist and sexist. On Friday, MLAs will debate whether to remove him from cabinet. (Photo by Meagan Deuling)

By Meagan Deuling
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nunavut’s MLAs will debate this Friday whether to remove Patterk Netser from cabinet, following a motion put forward yesterday by Premier Joe Savikataaq.

This comes after Savikataaq stripped the MLA for Aivilik of his portfolios after Netser made a Facebook post about abortion and the Black Lives Matter movement that’s been decried as racist and sexist.

Wednesday, Oct. 21, was the first day of the fall sitting of the legislative assembly. Savikataaq asked for unanimous consent to deal with his motion then, but there was a single “nay” against that motion, from Netser.

The motion will be debated on Friday, Oct. 23. “I expect it to pass,” Savikataaq said during a break.

Before Savikataaq put forward the motion, Netser stood in the house to make a lengthy statement.

He apologized to the Black community, saying he didn’t mean to cause offence.

Netser went on to say that he was stripped of his portfolios “because of my Christian principles and values.”

He said this is an example of a trend of erosion of diversity, equality, fairness and tolerance in Canada and Nunavut.

Savikataaq interrupted him to make a point of order, saying that Netser wasn’t stripped of his portfolios because of his religious beliefs.

Later, during the break, Savikataaq said he was a bit surprised by Netser’s statement.

“His comments were based on racism and gender violence, and it’s not reflective of the Government of Nunavut’s values and principles,” Savikataaq said.

If the motion is carried by members on Friday, Netser will be removed from cabinet, but he will still be a regular MLA.

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(25) Comments:

  1. Posted by Tusaajuq on

    A appointed person trying to get an elected person in whom has every right for his free leadership speech, to reflect the values of a lot of Inuit whom the dear leader might not be friends with

  2. Posted by Angut on

    Had no idea that “Christian principles and values” allows him to hate and put down a fellow human beings. If that is the case, he needs to be a much better human being and Christian. What I find of “religious” lot is, they believe their Christianity makes them better than anyone.

  3. Posted by Horse Hockey on

    I will personally picket outside the Legislature for his reinstatement if Netser can show me the verse in the Gospel where Jesus forbids abortion.

    • Posted by Observer on

      Abortion wasn’t an issue among the majority of non-Catholic Christians in North America until the late 1970s when American religious conservatives like Jerry Falwell and Paul Weyrich deliberately used it create a rallying point to get religious people more involved in politics. The thing is, they didn’t really care about abortion as an issue; that was just to draw people in. What they really cared about was to get religious people aligned with the American political right in order to oppose *racial* change. They didn’t want African Americans to have the same rights of access, to be able to go to the same schools, to have a right not to be discriminated against. The anti-abortion movement which began int he United States and which was picked up by people in Canada was never about abortion; it was a cover for the real issue: racism.

      • Posted by Observer on

        If you’re going to insist that the Old Testament be followed, are you killing people who work on the Sabbath, including playing sports, hunting, fishing, or shopping? According to Exodus 31:15, that’s a capital offense.

        • Posted by Observant on

          Jesus became our Sabbath:

          Hebrews 4:9-10 NIV
          There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.

          The law of the OT was replaced by the grace of God in the NT, grace meaning unmerited favor.

          Nevertheless the bible says that all lives of humans are sacred, including the unborn as stated in Exodus 21:22, 23.

          • Posted by Observer on

            But you just wrote that “the old testament is just as relevant as the NT”. And if that Sabbath one bothers you, there are others. Do you condemn anyone who eats pork or shrimp or crab? Have you ritually executed anyone who has eaten a hare? Have you announced that anyone with traditional Inuit tattoos is a sinner (Leviticus 19:28 explicitly bans them)? Leviticus 19:26 bans eating any meat with blood still in it…hmmm, that one might be fun to enforce in Nunavut.
            What you *really* meant is that you think you can pick and choose what you want from the Bible, so you claim it’s absolute truth for some things and ignore others that are, let’s say inconvenient.

  4. Posted by Predictable right wing baloney on

    I could have written a very similar speech with the same exact points. “Christians” like Netser who feel “persecuted” are all the same. They say they have no freedom of speech, yet you see all that All Lives Matter dog whistling BS everywhere on facebook. No one is going to jail or punished. Netser will still have a very high paying job when this is all over.
    The real reason why most think he should be removed from cabinet: we can’t trust a person who appears to be as troubled as Netser to make life or death decisions. You might think his claims are legitimate, I see an angry man who’s crying for help. Bigotry and mental illness often go hand in hand. For all we know he’s taking orders from a con-man evangelical preacher from Florida rather than the sane well-intention (albeit flawed) Premier that the members chose.
    Netser can still go on facebook and say he’s persecuted like Jesus Christ. He can still make grand statements in the legislature about how democracy has failed him. But that’s what’s going on in his head. It’s far removed from the reality most of us accept. He thinks the world has gone mad. Most of us think he’s fallen into the right wing extreme Christianity that so many of our aunts and uncles, and neighbours to the south, have fallen victim to. If the majority of Nunavummiut do think he’s right, then I fear for the future.

    • Posted by FreshOut on

      I agree with you, and there must be consequences for such actions. To whom much is given mush is expected …..from a man who is a stone’s throw away from being a Premier!

  5. Posted by “Looking Thru The Spy-Glas. on

    Being “Christian” does not give Right to :Judge.Right to Be Seprate from Humanity.Right to Use “Christian as a Means to be of Higher,of all What it means.Is Not Possible.never will and it means.Christian is Living Life by Example,not by Words.

  6. Posted by Long March on

    This is only tangentially about Netser, although he will be its first and most visible victim.
    It’s going to be used as a springboard to create some kind of Racial Justice / Diversity and Equity Office within the GN or reporting to the Legislative Assembly.
    Savikataaq and Hickes will happily set up a $1 million annual budget for the Office to burnish their images, and Mayor Bell will cheer from the sidelines.

    • Posted by Soothsayer on

      I fear this is the trajectory we are on too. If you recall the original story about the BLM protests in Iqaluit there were comments suggesting this very thing. I agree it would be a misuse of resources and wonder at the kinds of activities such a department would promote.

    • Posted by FreshOut on

      Racial Justice and equity within the GN?? Wonders shall never end!

  7. Posted by An explanation for Mr Netser on

    If i walked around town and said to everyone I see “you’re ugly”, and I kept doing this every day, I’d be the most unpopular guy in town. No one would invite me to parties, no one would help me out when I’m in need. I’d probably develop a complex and say I’m being discriminated against because everyone is alienating me because I’m telling them the truth: THEY’RE UGLY!
    That’s who Mr. Netser is. He’s the jerk going around town giving everyone his opinions that no one asked for. Now he feels alientated and discriminated. The truth is that no one wants him at their party because he seeks to make people feel bad in his twisted quest to tell everyone the truth.

  8. Posted by Judge on

    There are some points made that defeat themselves. “Being “Christian” does not give Right to :Judge” is such. This is a judgment statement in case you don’t know. This goes into the Animal Farm bin. Some can judge others can’t. Some political animals are greater than other political animals.

  9. Posted by Daniel Friesen on

    When ones freedom of speech and religious beliefs are called racist and sexist. When harm is done intentionally to someone because they exercise the Charter of rights in being a Canadian, our society is in jeopardy. When the beliefs of a certain segment of society are the only beliefs accepted and allowed to be spoken then democracy has descended to the tactics of nazi And Communism..

    • Posted by FreshOut on

      …and when the freedom of speech that is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights is recklessly abused with pains inflicted on another other group that is protected by the same Charter of Rights, then, there MUST be consequences!

  10. Posted by Seriously? on

    Ummm, you’re conflating Nazism and Communism? Seriously?

    • Posted by Paradigm Shift on

      To be fair, Communism and Nazism converge around their totalitarian tendencies; totalitarianism is the word that should have been used here. Yet most people don’t use it because they don’t know what it means, so instead they yell Nazi! And Communist! Often without understanding those terms either.

  11. Posted by strawman on

    Christian principles and values, brought to you by the same people behind residential schools and various other abuse of minors everywhere. I’d wager the vast majority of the population in 2020 have no desire to be governed people using the church as leverage for their bad decisions. This is another example of why Nunavut needs fresh blood and educated minds in order to move forward.

    • Posted by FreshOut on

      Education will illuminate the mind, bring deliverance to the soul, and increase one’s capacity for critical thinking that enables one to differentiate between what is considered right or wrong in the context of our collective existence as a people.

  12. Posted by 2 tongue fool on

    Joe Savikataaq is a second class politician, he doesn’t even deserve be called” honourable member of” … just because he knows that the whole world has moved into the New World Order he in his refusal to correct or help his fellow members of legislature to either apologize or lead his team to work hard for the nunavut people , he pompously attempts to show the world he is a “Tag along with othe r politicians around the world”. A leader is someone who takes responsibility no matter how the world thinks about certain laws and Inuit do still dispute some laws out there made but as a people of the north, we are also trying to insert our own values, traditions, and aspirations. Or could it be he was too short sighted to move too quickly by trying to divide, show some boldness joe savikataaq. you just lost a few more..

    • Posted by not a tool on

      I would trust Joe Savikatak he is apparently not a tool thinks of the “Whole of Nunavut” and not just his friends or the few who got perks before him

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