Premier announces changes to deputy minister positions

Yvonne Niego named deputy minister of Environment Department, Jonathan Ellsworth to be deputy minister with Department of Family Services

The appointment of two new deputy ministers was announced Friday by Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

The appointment of two new deputy ministers was announced Friday by Premier P.J. Akeeagok.

In a news release, Akeeagok said the changes were needed following the retirement Friday of Nunavut’s deputy minister of the environment, Jimmy Noble, after more than 25 years in public service.

Deputy ministers are the highest-ranking public servants in a government department. They are unelected staff members and outranked only by the minister, who is an elected MLA.

Noting Noble’s time spent with the government, Akeeagok said “his experience and knowledge of our territory’s regulatory affairs is a loss for our government, but we are thankful for his contributions and assistance over the past month in developing a succession plan.”

Yvonne Niego has been named deputy minister of the environment, after serving as deputy minister of family services since 2017.

Effective April 24, Jonathan Ellsworth will become deputy minister of family services on a six-month term. Currently, he is assistant deputy minister of courts and justice services with the GN’s Department of Justice.


Share This Story

(24) Comments:

  1. Posted by Mit on

    Why is it that most, if not all, Ministers are inuit, and that most, if not all, deputy mini are non-inuit?

    • Posted by You Don’t need to be Qualified to be Elected on

      Because you don’t need to be qualified or competent to be elected or appointed.

    • Posted by Confused on

      This announcement clearly is a sign of dysfunction within the Premier’s office but may also offer some kind of explanation to why he would assign a DM who was recently made ADM to the position of Family services. Again one of the most dysfunctional departments within the GN.
      Why a non Inuk would be given a DM’s position when the Premier recently announced that he was implementing a program to start training Inuit to take over DM positions. Recently the Premier also assigned a 6 month term to the DM of HR and now has the job posted on a Canadian wide website through a head hunting group.
      If there is a wonder why the department of HR, Family Services are in such a state of flux and why the department of Health has a DM working from Sask. somewhere is an obvious sign of failure from the Office of the Premier to get things moving forward. Smoke and Mirror’s come to mind.
      Maybe its time for a non-confidence vote for the current government its clear that under the leadership we are not moving in a positive direction. Photo ops are nice but does nothing to advance the territory. Its sad that the thought of young blood could be the solution to growth is only showing signs of a growing old fast boys club.

      • Posted by Name withheld on

        I’ve been wondering for some time now why Dept of Health has on going acting DM. Makes sense as I guess the current DM is in and out of Iqaluit.

        Why accept a position if you aren’t going to relocate when start of the employment. Also why have someone in Policy act as an ADM?

    • Posted by John WP Murphy on

      Deputy Minister Niego IS Inuk.

    • Posted by Crystal Clarity on

      I believe Jimmy and Yvonne are of Inuit heritage although Jonathan is not,, but what’s your point?

    • Posted by Leaders on

      The Ministers are average citizens elected by their constituents, not trained beaurocrats like the deputies. Given time, the next few generations will be knowledgeable enough to be deputies too.

      • Posted by YCO on

        CamBay MLA was an immature choice, she was a subpar Mayor (and I’m being generous), she has done nothing for her constitutents thus far. She answers questions with questions, no intelligence.

    • Posted by I’d Like to Think on

      I’d like to think that it is because competence and knowledge takes precedence over race – but I’d probably be wrong.

      • Posted by Realist on

        You are speaking of an ideal world that many of us were raised to believe in. It does not take long to see that competence, while a desirable quality, is not of primary importance in Nunavut.

    • Posted by hermann kliest on

      Reverse discrimination?

    • Posted by Former Iqaluit Resident on

      Jimmy Noble Jr IS Inuk, born and raised in Iqaluit. I see ignorance and racism is still alive and well in Nunavut!

  2. Posted by Name withheld on

    I like to know why Yvonne Neigo-Akavak does not get appointed to Justice? Wasn’t she an RCMP for over 20 yeears? .

    Why is the HR DM job being advertise on GN Job listing? Is Mr. Hickey going back to IEA?

    • Posted by because…. on

      Because you have to be a Lawyer to be DM of Justice.

      • Posted by Go figure!! on

        You mean to tell me every other worker, DM, ADM’s within Nunavut are highly qualified to the tea of the job description required for each department? ..

        While we are on that subject, please tell me what qualifications did Mr. Hickey have to get the acting position for DM of HR? Finance and Admin here and there, according his to his Linkedln. ?

        Or wait what about the appointments of each Ministers of Nunavut? What qualification do they need?

        • Posted by Northern Guy on

          No Go Figure, what By Because is saying is that being lawyer is legal prerequisite for the job of DM of Justice. As it is in every other jurisdiction in Canada.

  3. Posted by grateful on

    I’m glad that Yvonne Niego got a transfer. She has worked her butt off at Family Services for many years, in a critically important but pretty thankless job. I shudder to think where the department would be today without her leadership. Thank you, Yvonne.

  4. Posted by mike A on

    YAY way to go Yvonne ! an excellent choice ! , family Services will def miss her!

  5. Posted by Taxpayer on

    How a retirement and rejigging of senior civil servant positions can take on the air of a cabinet shuffle is beyond me.

    In every other part of the country, this is a nothing burger. In every other part of the country, senior civil servants are specifically trained and highly experienced faceless careerists who no one notices unless they seriously screw up, which they rarely do.

    DMs implement government policy. They do not invent it. If there is a feeling in the public that the way in which government policy is working is a problem, then the solution is better or different policy, not different civil servants.

    To me that is the bigger problem. Our MLAs and Ministers support anything and everything. This ambiguity gives license to DMs to choose. Either/Or decisions seem beyond our elected leaders.

    How a more special, more suited person of a preferred race in these DM roles could suddenly turn this around and bring about Nirvana in Nunavut is a hopeless expectation.

    • Posted by No Moniker on

      The exceptionalist fantasy of Inuit nationalists is that once all levers of control have been attained Inuit (defined in purist terms and marked by their near singular vision) will enter a Renaissance of flourishing, guided forward by an ethnic utopian political religion whispered into existence by the power of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit.

  6. Posted by Norman Gordon on

    Comment sounds like social media
    shuffle is not out of ordinary
    Hope for all best to there new portfolio

  7. Posted by S on

    There is NOTHING less important to society than ancestry; to advocate otherwise is racism.

  8. Posted by That’s Awesome!!! on

    These are great choices! Both Yvonne and Jonathan have the experience and work ethics to be DMs. They’ve both worked with Nunavummiut, outside of the Public Service, and know how the Government should be working for us. I totally believe that they will be able to carry the burden they will need to and do the hard work they will be required to do successfully.

  9. Posted by Aputi on

    Get elected and hire your buddies


Comments are closed.