Nunavut’s new ministers assigned portfolios

Joelie Kaernerk takes on culture and heritage; Daniel Qavvik adopts environment

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok has assigned portfolios to his two new cabinet ministers. (Photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jeff Pelletier - Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Nunavut’s newest cabinet ministers have been assigned their portfolios.

Premier P.J. Akeeagok announced the appointments Monday in a news release.

MLAs Joelie Kaernerk and Daniel Qavvik were voted into cabinet by their peers Saturday at the Nunavut legislative assembly.

Kaernerk has been named minister of culture and heritage, minister of languages, and minister responsible for the Qulliq Energy Corp. He represents the Amittuq riding, which covers Sanirajak and splits Igloolik with the Aggu riding.

Over the weekend, Kaernerk told reporters he was hoping to be named to the culture and heritage portfolio, as well as justice.

However, David Akeeagok will hold on to justice instead.

The QEC position was most recently one of the premier’s portfolios and the language portfolio most recently belonged to Deputy Premier Pamela Gross.

Gross, who recently had a baby, is on a one-month leave from cabinet. She plans to return to her roles as education minister and minister responsible for seniors on Oct. 16, ahead of the next legislative sitting which opens Oct. 25.

Qavvik will serve as minister of environment, minister responsible for energy, and minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College. He represents the Hudson Bay riding, which includes Sanikiluaq.

His ministerial appointments formerly belonged to Aggu MLA Joanna Quassa until she resigned from cabinet last week.

No other cabinet positions were affected by Monday’s announcement.

“I am happy to welcome the newest members of our executive council,” the premier said in a statement.

“We look forward to the new energy and the increased diversity our new ministers will bring to an already strong cabinet.”


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(16) Comments:

  1. Posted by rick merritt on

    the Leg is just like the rest of the GN now. they just put up with what they can get.

    • Posted by The truth has been spoken on


  2. Posted by Unfortunate on

    Neither of these new members to the Executive Council are equipped nor prepared to be Ministers. The questions asked during the leaders forum were easier questions than are asked for the hiring of entry level positions, yet the role comes with immense responsibility. I think this is unfortunate for Nunavut, and unfortunate for the departments who are now tasked with navigating these unprepared and wholly inadequate Ministers. I also feel deeply saddened for the new Ministers who are in over their heads and will struggle to represent and lead their portfolios.

    • Posted by Sad to say on

      This is the story of Nunavut, a land of fantasy and fiction where IQ values and a bureaucracy cleansed of its ethnic impurities will save us, some fine day.

      • Posted by hermann kliest on

        SAD; in reply to your post, but how do you send back about 3000 to the provinces? hey get the YK organizer who evacuated the city during the forest fire times… yeah she can get most of them out….she knows how….

    • Posted by Putting this out there on

      What this really shows is that MLA’s and Ministers do not actually have any real power to do anything. because all they do is look at papers during ledge and try not answer/ask any real questions.

      Look at the people working at the community level that ‘work’ for the MLAs and you will also understand.

  3. Posted by Kablunak Boy on

    I believe Ministers should be better equipped through Training and Development. I don’t understand how the GN makes their decisions. I don’t understand the correlation: “Qavvik will serve as minister of environment, minister responsible for energy, and minister responsible for Nunavut Arctic College.” How does a Minister who is responsible for energy, be put in Charge of Nunavut Arctic College, when there is a Minister (Gross) who is in charge of Education?

    • Posted by Consistency on

      Daniel was a Wildlife Officer… therefor he can be the Minister of Environment.

      Maybe i can be given a job way over my head as a a captain of a sealift ship… I have driven boats seal hunting for over a decade…. should be relatable experience. no chance of that going poorly.

      • Posted by Inconsistency on


        Trudeau is on the phone. He says he wants you to be Admiral of the Canadian Navy.

    • Posted by Descartes on

      I am not sure how you would tackle training and development of publicly elected officials.

      Would this be done when they first declared their candidacy? It is highly likely that if candidates knew more about GN operations prior to being elected, it would effect their platform and promises made. Would that then not be a form of election interference?

      If training and development was done for sitting MLAs, great efforts would have to be made to politically sanitize the materials and the instructors. There would be a great danger that this effort would have the effect of steering public policy in a non-democratic way. Anybody could well imagine a group of credulous MLAs and Ministers being indoctrinated instead of trained.

      Having training and development for MLAs and Ministers also opens the door to politicians doing about faces on issues. “If I only knew before what I know now” excuses for not doing what they said they would do.

      Training and development for politicians. Easy to say, hard to do.

  4. Posted by Tonyangmarli on

    Snap election this government going backward…….

    • Posted by Better Get on That on

      The opposition should get right on that. Oh wait…

  5. Posted by eskimo joe on

    Arm chair politicians, put up or run for the seats. bet you these two that are label “not qualified” can outran you in their ridings any day of the year…. MUH. many of you critics are only qualified to their tiny GN job descriptions and most times confined to your little cubicles. WHAT??? let them be, they ran and got elected to the Center of Nunavut Universe. Critics; try it, and nil chance for 99.9% of commenters to enter the hallowed walls of none-partisans’ politics. Anyway, unqualified Ministers? All of the House and Ministers are the victims of these autocratic DMs and ADMs. They are the Unqualified ones, damn…

  6. Posted by Depressed on

    It can get so depressing when absolutely everything in Nunavut is run by incompetents with no education, no experience, no clue and who simply don’t care in the slightest.

    We’re almost at Nunavut’s 25th Anniversary and this Territory is totally off the rails.

  7. Posted by Delbert on

    People elect politicians.The choices they have up here. Is to elect people that are poorly educated and unqualified. Then the result is what you have now. A dysfunctional government. That don’t reach the level mediocracy.

  8. Posted by Sam on

    38,000 people in Nunavut, small town in southern Canada, we have roughly 2,000 civil servants, boards ,agency’s ,25 mayors,’ councils, DEAs, HTOs, Housing boards,NTI, Regional Inuit associations, and we spent almost 3 billion dollars last year,and we need more for housing, education, health, and we still are not happy, don’t want resource development,30 percent of children go to bed hungry every nite, what a mess


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