Executive Council of Nunavut

The Executive Council of Nunavut or cabinet includes a Premier and seven Ministers and is elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly from among the Assembly members.[1]

The cabinet members provide the political direction and accountability for each function, while the Deputy Minister of each department is appointed position with responsibility to guide and manage the daily administration of the budgets and programs of government.[1]

As of November 2015, the current ministers are:[2][3]

Member Minister/Portfolio
Peter Taptuna Premier, Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs, Aboriginal Affairs, Seniors' Advocate
Monica Ell-Kanayuk Deputy Premier, Economic Development, Mines, Energy, Status of Women, Nunavut Business Credit Corporation, Nunavut Development Corporation
George Kuksuk Culture and Heritage, Languages, Family Services, Poverty Reduction, Homelessness
Johnny Mike Environment, Utility Rates Review Council
Paul Okalik Justice, Human Rights Review Tribunal, Labour Standards Board, Health, Immigration, Suicide Prevention
Keith Peterson Finance, Liquor Commission, Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission
Paul Quassa Education, Nunavut Arctic College, House Leader
George Hickes Qulliq Energy Corporation, Nunavut Housing Corporation
Joe Savikataaq Community and Government Services, Hudson Bay Roundtable

Third Legislative Assembly

Appointments and removals Seven of the eight current ministers were chosen on November 14, 2008, following the 2008 election. One seat was left open pending the results of the Akulliq by-election on December 12, 2008, however, so that the winner of that by-election would have the same opportunity as other MLAs to be considered for the remaining position.[4]

After the Akulliq by-election was sent to a recount which resulted in an exact tie between the two leading contenders, thus necessitating a second by-election, the MLAs announced on January 22, 2009 that they would no longer hold the remaining seat open, but would fill the vacancy so that they could proceed with pending government business.[5] The final spot was filled on January 26, 2009, when the MLAs appointed Tagak Curley over James Arvaluk and Fred Schell.[6]

On January 24, 2009, Louis Tapardjuk was removed as Minister of Justice with the duties being assumed by Premier Eva Aariak. The removal was caused by leaked email from Tapardjuk that read in part; "Often, in cases of domestic disputes, both parties share the blame, but according to the criminal code, the person who gets physical is charged, even though the other party may have initiated the conflict. Often the male is charged even though the conflict may have been initiated by the female partner." The email was sent to Nunavut News/North who forwarded it to the Premier, who indicated that the remarks appeared to "...condone violence against women and men...". Former Premier Paul Okalik defended Tapardjuk, stating that the email was an attempt to start a debate.[7][8]

Following two announcements of massive debt and overspending of funds at the Nunavut Housing Corporation, Hunter Tootoo was moved to Minister of Education from Minister Responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation. Minister Tapardjuk was moved from Education to fill the gap at Housing.

Previous Councils

Second Legislative Assembly

Member Minister/Portfolio Term
Paul Okalik Premier 2004-2008
Leona Aglukkaq Finance Minister and House Leader, Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister Responsible for the Status of Women 2004-2008
Olayuk Akesuk Minister for Sustainable Development, Minister of the Environment, Minister responsible for the Workers Compensation Board, and Minister responsible for Nunavut Housing - replaced Arvaluk 2004-2008
Levi Barnabas Minister for Human Resources and responsible for the Workers Compensation Board; Speaker (1999-2000) 2004-2008
Levinia Brown Minister of Health and Social Services and the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women 2004-2008
David Simailak Minister of Finance and the Minister Responsible for the Liquor Licensing Board 2005-2007
Louis Tapardjuk Minister of Finance and Minister of Culture, Language, Elders and Youth; Minister of Justice) 2004-2008 and 2009-2010, 2009
Ed Picco Minister of Health and Social Services, Minister of Education, Immigration, Homelessness, Energy and Nunavut Arctic College, Minister Responsible for Qulliq, Government House Leader
Peter Kilabuk Speaker 2006-2008
Patterk Netser Minister without Portfolio

Appointments and removals Barnabus and Simailik were removed or resigned.

First Legislative Assembly

A Nunavut Assembly first chooses a Speaker.

It then holds a Leadership Session where questions are put to candidates for Premier and the position is chosen by secret ballot.

Next, Ministers are elected by the Assembly, by secret ballot, from amongst the Members. To be named a Minister a Member must secure 50%+1 of the available votes. Frequently the election of a full set of Ministers requires multiple ballots, with those securing the required ballots being declared at the end of each round, and the remaining vacancies being re-opened for a subsequent round of voting.

The Premier can then allocate or create portfolios for the Ministers elected by the Assembly, and may later re-allocate these, as and when he or she chooses.

The Premier may add, remove or allocate portfolios amongst Ministers but Nunavut Ministers cannot be removed by a Premier, they can only be removed by resignation or vote of the Assembly.

Member Minister/Portfolio Term
Paul Okalik Premier; Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs; Education; Justice 1999 - 2004
Jack Anawak Justice; Community Government, Housing and Transportation; Culture, Language, Elders and Youth 1999 - Mar 2003; Anawak was not replaced at his departure
James Arvaluk Education, 1999 - Oct 2000
Donald Havioyak Culture, Language, Elders and Youth 1999 - April 2000
Kelvin Ng Deputy Premier; Finance and Administration, Nunavut Housing Corporation; Workers' Compensation; and Government House Leader 1999 - 2004
Ed Picco Health and Social Services; Government House Leader 1999 - 2004
Manitok Thompson Public Works, Telecomm and Tech Services, Human Resources 1999 - 2004
Peter Kattuk Public Works' and Services Apr 2000 - 2004; replaced Havioyak
Olayuk Akesuk Sustainable Development, Workers' Compensation; Nunavut Housing Corporation; Oct 2000 - 2004; replaced Arvaluk

Appointments and removals

  • Anawak - removed by Assembly Mar 7, 2003[9]
  • Arvaluk - resigned October 2000
  • Havioyok - resigned April 2000


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