Regular members put Nunavut cabinet on notice for ‘unacceptable behaviour’

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The regular members of Nunavut’s legislative assembly issued a warning to cabinet members in a letter to Premier Joe Savikataaq dated May 22.

Chairperson of the regular members’ caucus John Main tabled a letter at the legislative assembly May 29, which sends a warning to cabinet that it must level up.
photo courtesy Nunavut Legislative Assembly

“As a caucus, members have identified a number of ongoing performance issues with the executive council. As premier, you have a central role in addressing these issues for the benefit of our government and the territory at large,” states chairperson of the regular members’ caucus John Main in the letter, released publicly May 29.

“This letter is intended to encourage corrective action by clearly defining the expectations being placed on the executive.”

Main adds the letter is not targeting any one particular minister.

All MLAs agreed not to hold a mid-term leadership review after the October 2017 election when they met together in Pond Inlet in early 2018. Rather, they opted to hold each other to task on a regular basis. This decision would open the door for the ousting of Paul Quassa as premier, Main reminds Savikataaq.

Main also reminds Savikataaq that the regular members’ caucus is responsible for “effectively holding the government accountable to the people of Nunavut.”

“I must advise you that there is a growing dissatisfaction on the part of my caucus colleagues with the approach taken by a number of ministers. Rather than responding in a clear, candid and comprehensive manner to members’ questions posed during sittings of the house and meetings of standing committees, a number of ministers do the opposite,” Main states.

He adds that behaviour is unacceptable.

Read the full letter.

The following is a list of expectations the regular members’ caucus has of cabinet for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, as written in a letter to Premier Joe Savikataaq dated May 22:

  1. All members of the executive council are expected to be fully briefed on all major issues, policies, initiatives, expenditures and statutes under their ministerial portfolios;
  2. All members of the executive council are expected to provide substantive answers to members’ questions during sittings of the house and meetings of standing committees;
  3. All members of the executive council are expected to provide answers to members’ questions that are as clear and concise as possible, and that are not needlessly drawn out or repetitive, in a manner consistent with the principles of Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit;
  4. All members of the executive council are expected to provide follow-up responses in a timely manner to members on occasions where they cannot immediately provide the requested information, and to use official formats for written responses and/ or returns to oral questions for other responses;
  5. All members of the executive council are expected to give full consideration to the recommendations made by standing committees and individual members of the legislative assembly concerning departmental and Crown agency budgets and business plans;
  6. All members of the executive council are expected to table, in a timely manner, documents requested by members; and
  7. All members of the executive council are expected to maintain open and efficient lines of communication with standing committees and individual members of the legislative assembly by ensuring that all correspondence sent to any regular member adheres to guidance provided by the Office of the Legislative Assembly in respect to copying requirements and electronic and paper formats.