Canada Nunavut premier expects support from caucus to remove minister from cabinet
"More than a piece of metal:" Nunavut community gets its first ambulance
IQALUIT, Nunavut — The summer sealift typically brings everything from housewares to heavy equipment to Pond Inlet in Nunavut. But this year, on Aug. 28, the ship dropped off something the remote community of about 1,600 on the northern shore of Baffin Island has never had before — an ambulance. The sealift brings what planes can't to the territory's fly-in-only communities, including bulk items, non-perishable goods and vehicles. Each year,But this year, on Aug. 28, the ship dropped off something the remote community of about 1,600 on the northern shore of Baffin Island has never had before — an ambulance.
IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut’s premier says he believes his motion to remove a member of his cabinet over a social media post will pass when it is voted on later this week.
Premier Joe Savikataaq stripped Patterk Netser of his housing and Nunavut Arctic College portfolios Oct. 8, after Netser made a Facebook post that said "All lives matter" and questioned why Black women have abortions.
Nunavut's members of the legislature are to debate then vote on the motion to remove Netser on Friday.
“I expect it to pass,” Savikataaq said told reporters Wednesday.
Netser, who is still a member of cabinet despite not having any portfolios, rose during the assembly’s statements period to “present the facts to this house and address concerns and hopefully answer questions my colleagues may have.”
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He told the assembly it is “no secret” that he is of Christian faith and is against abortions.
“Based on my Christian beliefs and convictions, I simply asked a question to the public. I was not raising this question against any government, policy or legislation,” Netser said.
“I have been stripped of my portfolios as minister in this government because of my Christian principles and values."
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Savikataaq took issue with Netser's statement.
“I did not strip minister Netser’s portfolio because of religious or (Christian) beliefs,” he said.
“His comments were based in racism and gender violence and that’s not reflective of the (government of Nunavut's) values and principles.”
Infrastructure in Nunavut far behind that in most of Canada: report
IQALUIT, Nunavut — Health care, housing and internet access for Inuit in Nunavut all lag far behind what a majority of Canadians expect for themselves, says a new report. The 300-page document was commissioned by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., the land-claim organization that represents Inuit in the territory, to measure the difference in infrastructure between Nunavut and the rest of Canada. "The infrastructure gap directly contributes to poverty and lowers the quality of life for Nunavut Inuit. It is felt in food insecurity, overcrowded housing and limited economic opportunity," the report says.
Netser apologized again to the Black community for his comments.
“I sincerely apologize and please know it was never my intention to offend anyone," he said.
Netser, who represents Coral Harbour and Naujaat, was first elected to the territory's legislative assembly in 2004 and has held several cabinet portfolios in Nunavut's consensus-style government, which has no political parties. Cabinet ministers are chosen by all elected members and their portfolios are assigned by the premier.
In a consensus government, only caucus, not the premier, has the power to remove a minister from cabinet.
Motions need unanimous consent to pass without debate. When Savikataaq asked for unanimous consent for the motion to remove Netser, only one member, Netser, said "nay."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 21, 2020.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian press News Fellowship.
Emma Tranter, The Canadian Press
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