Quassa calls it quits

Aggu MLA’s resignation takes effect 5 weeks before the territorial government dissolves

Paul Quassa, seen in a July file photo, has resigned from his position as the MLA for Aggu. (File photo by David Venn)

By Nunatsiaq News

Paul Quassa, a former Nunavut premier and current Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, has resigned from his role as MLA for Aggu, an electoral district in the Qikiqtaaluk region around Igloolik, citing personal reasons.

“This very difficult decision was based on what I believe to be the best interest of my family,” Quassa said in a Tuesday press release.

His resignation is effective Aug. 13, five weeks before the current legislative assembly will end.

“Earlier this year, I advised my constituents that I would not be seeking re-election,” Quassa said. “I look forward to continuing to make contributions to our territory in other forums.”

The announcement did not say who will replace Quassa as Speaker when the legislature, which is scheduled to sit from Sept. 9 to 16, resumes. The legislature’s clerk could not be reached Tuesday afternoon to clarify what happens when there’s a vacancy in the Speaker’s chair.

With a general election scheduled for Oct. 25, the legislative assembly was already scheduled to be dissolved on Sept. 19. Because Quassa’s resignation happened so close to the next general election, there is no requirement to hold a byelection to fill Quassa’s seat as MLA, the news release states.

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by MONICA A CONNOLLY on

    The Legislature will meet under the chairmanship of the Clerk to elect a new speaker before any other business is transacted.

    Rules of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut 8 (1)

  2. Posted by Jay Arnakak on

    Paul has stepped up to the plate for us, Nunavut, many times and has been there at major historical moments of Nunavut.

    Thank you, Paul.

    • Posted by Jay Arnakak on

      and, thank you, Paul’s family.

  3. Posted by Pain In The Groen on

    Well, I guess it wasn’t a rumour that the Liberals just secured their candidate.

  4. Posted by Consistency on

    “I look forward to continuing to make contributions to our territory in other forums.”
    Is this his way of saying we will run in the next Federal election?

  5. Posted by Ms on

    Paul Quassa has been a consistent and dedicated politician not only for Nunavut but for Canada in his fight for the rights and equalities of Inuk people. His position on language rights and equality never waiver under pressure or challenges from his colleagues, constituencies or those in Ottawa. His removal as Premier of Nunavut was our lost in the areas of language, Inuit employment opportunities, educational reform, early childhood development and more. It is unfortunate that others could not embrace his vision for Nunavut or saw his vision and created obstacles to prevent its fruition. The good thing is that there will be another to stand on his shoulders and continue the fight for equality in all areas that affect human growth.

  6. Posted by Kenn Harper on

    Hmmmmm. I smell something. Quassa’s resignation takes effect August 13. Nominations for ITK president’s election close on August 18. Does anyone else see a possible connection here? Bad idea. But it could happen.

  7. Posted by Active imagination? on

    Is this 5 week early resignation a passive aggressive way of getting back at the Legislature for earlier drama around Quassa’s Premiership? Or am I imagining things?

  8. Posted by Old Dog, New Trick on

    Seems like the first time Paul Quassa has left elected office voluntarily and without being under the cloud of a scandal.

    • Posted by He was education minister for a full term on

      Nukumiik, for serving Inuit and trying to make it better for us. Sorry the Qallunaaks never liked it and would rather push you aside for their own interests. Wake up, my Inukatiiks and unelect the clowns who do not give a damn about us. It is Inuit time so let us make “Nunavut”, an Inuit word serve us for a change!

      • Posted by Pork Pie on

        Paul’s problem, and probably yours, is the inability to see the slow and frustrated development of Nunavut as anything but a function of “Qallunaaks” and “clowns who do not give a damn about us.”

        This simplistic, low resolution analysis is popular because it takes no serious thought, education or effort at understanding the mechanics of a modern economy, instead appealing to and coddling fantasies about boogeymen and other dark forces aligned against you.

        People who think in these terms have changed society, but I can’t think of any instance where that has been for the better.

        • Posted by Anomak Niptanatiak on

          I guess a lot of Inuit has the problem of ” is the inability to see the slow and frustrated development…” is indeed the solution. Colonizers and money grabbers want to get rich, like yesterday, no care or concern about the environment, land and animals of the arctic much less the ‘People’ who has lived here for over 40,000 years. So the changed society you speak of is for our benefit not yours…get the history straight, the culture, language and principles straight… its for our benefit not yours…get used to it…change is here…

          • Posted by Total non-sense on

            No one has lived in the North American Arctic for 40,0000 years, or even close to that. The first to arrive here came about 5,000 years ago and your ancestors displaced them and took their land about 4000 years later (800 to 1,000 years ago).

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