Iqaluit’s city council passed a unanimous motion calling for the resignation of Coun. Malaiya Lucassie during a meeting on Sept. 13. She has since stepped down.
Lucassie is the daughter of Minister Patterk Netser, who had his own cabinet portfolios stripped by the premier for a post on Facebook commenting on the Black Lives Matter movement and abortion.
The pro-life post made reference to black women having abortions, and suggested that if all lives mattered then women should not be allowed to terminate their pregnancies.
Lucassie posted her support for Netser’s comments on Facebook but was quick to apologize after the ensuing backlash.
Following a lengthy in-camera during the Sept. 13 council meeting, Coun. Romeyn Stevenson put forward a motion that was followed by no public debate.
“The city council does not abide by comments that were made by Coun. Lucassie. The council does not condone racism or gender violence and does not accept a world where such comments or comments such as those made over the weekend are let go without censure,” said Stevenson.
“Coun. Lucassie breached the code of conduct. We as a governing body had a responsibility to act. This council officially reprimands Coun. Lucassie. This council demands Coun. Lucassie’s resignation effective immediately.”
In an email to Nunavut News, Lucassie she’s resigning effective immediately. However, she disagreed with the way her comments have been characterized.
“I would like to first apologize to the Black community, if I have offended you and sounded like a racist, I am sincerely sorry,” she wrote. “The city has portrayed me as an Inuk with a racist attitude. Please note that I am not against anyone or the BLM movement. I support and understand the movement as a member of a minority.
“All I tried to say, and sorry if it was misinterpreted, is why did we not have anything done for the lives of Inuit that have been murdered, raped, and abused? Why was there no such movement? We as minorities are often told to keep our mouths shut and bullied to keep our mouths shut. It’s time we stand up together and work together rather than going against each other.”
Netser has defended his right to speak his mind. Although he has been stripped of his portfolios he is still a member of cabinet.
His fate will be decided by MLAs during the fall sitting of the legislative assembly next week.