Premier appoints new deputy ministers

Jimi Onalik given top job at executive and intergovernmental affairs; David Kunuk to head economic development

P.J. Akeeagok, seen here in a photo from a news conference on Thursday, has hired two new deputy ministers, according to a Friday news release. (Photo by David Venn)

By Nunatsiaq News

Two new deputy ministers will be joining the Government of Nunavut in the coming weeks.

Former economic development and transportation deputy minister Jimi Onalik will replace Virginia Mearns as the deputy minister of executive and intergovernmental affairs, according to a Friday press release issued by the premier’s press secretary, Sima Sahar-Zerehi.

David Kunuk, a former chief operating officer for Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., has been appointed deputy minister of economic development.

“I have had the opportunity to see both individuals in action, they come to the positions with years of experience and valuable insights,” Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok said in the release.

Akeeagok also recommended Eiryn Devereaux for president of the Nunavut Housing Corp. That appointment needs to be approved by the board of directors.

Devereaux has more than 25 years in the housing sector, working with the Northwest Territory Housing Corp. and as housing deputy minister in Nova Scotia, the news release states.

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Float switch on

    Very noticable that PJ surrounds himself with men who are able to influence his decision making…..

    • Posted by tulu on

      exactly, maybe short reign ..

  2. Posted by Sheep and Wolves on

    Nothing like appointments of PJs friends at NTI who will put the Inuit elite before the public or moving up incredibly weak bureaucrats to the most senior bureaucratic position. I also see they rewarded the stewards in senior management of the pandemic at EIA by tossing them aside. Good luck with this dream team.

  3. Posted by It all depends on whom you know on

    Well, good luck P.J. You are creating a very interesting setup for you. Hopefully it will work in the favor of Nunavummiut and not just to satisfy personal opinions. Congrats to proposing a new president for NHC, since this seems to be one of you priority departments/Crown Operations. Interesting though that you bring in people who left the GN for a better job and only want to return because his job was eliminated after an election in NS. Lets see how Eiryn will prove himself.

  4. Posted by About time!! on

    It’s great to see someone else with NHC. Eiyrn you will have a lot of work waiting for you and get this housing shortage looked at.

    Please limit the number of calendars printed as it’s waste of money that can easily be used on improving the mold and mildew issue in public housing.

    Now it’s time to see how and look further into QEC as they don’t have the best tracking record in following Article 23 along with stability in the workplace.

    Remember you are all appointed to provide service to Nunavut residence and not employing your family members or friends!!!

    • Posted by Article 23 on

      It begs the question why corporations, which are not government departments, are included in Article 23 calculations at all. The land claim mentions governments, not power companies or housing corps, no matter who their shareholder is. If we had health authorities I would say the same thing. These entities are extensions of government to some
      degree, but the flavour in Nunavut is they basically operate like departments for no reason I can understand. In the south agencies are more independent and Nunavut should strive for the same: we do not need Ministers meddling in business affairs, efficiency should be the only rule for these entities and not aspirational goalposts like article 23.

      • Posted by Name Withheld on

        NHC, QEC, NAC are Territorial Corporations under GN.

        • Posted by Yes but on

          Article 23 does not say corporations are subject to it. Only government. These are distinct entities from government. You cannot sue the GN for the faults of QEC. They need to stop running these companies like government departments.

  5. Posted by Name withheld on

    Favourtism and nepotism all over

    • Posted by BLAH on

      hmmmm. ever stop to consider that

    • Posted by kk on

      hmmmm, ever stop to think maybe they were chosen not only by favouritism, but good work ethic? hmmmmmmmmm maybe they are good at the job?

  6. Posted by Paul Fraser on

    PJ made a good choice appointing David Kunuk as a DM. I have known David a good many years. A sharp mind, a good heart and the most honest of people. Bravo! I think Virginia has served Nunavut extremely well and I pray that she has assumed another key position in the Public Service.


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