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Quassa assigns cabinet positions

The 22 MLAs of Nunavut's 5th legislative assembly elected seven cabinet ministers Nov. 17, and today Premier Paul Quassa assigned them portfolios.

Premier Paul Quassa, centre, met with his newly-elected cabinet Sunday, Nov. 19, two days before announcing portfolios. From left are Pat Angnakak, Jeannie Ehaloak, Elisapee Sheutiapik, David Joanasie, Quassa, Joe Savikataaq, David Akeeagok and Lorne Kusugak. photo courtesy of Michel Albert

The legislators met for their first sitting despite the fact the City of Iqaluit was on its second day of closure due to dangerous weather conditions.

"While we certainly have significant work ahead of, we are all eager to meet the challenge. We are committed to improving partnerships and moving forward with social development. I am confident these portfolio assignments ensure strong leadership and will reinvigorate departmental alignment and priorities," said Quassa, who will serve as Minister of Executive and Intergovernmental Affairs.

Quassa's choices are:

- Joe Savikataaq (Arviat South): Deputy Premier and Minister of Family Services

- Elisapee Sheutiapik (Iqaluit-Sinaa): Government House Leader, Minister of Economic Development and Transportation, and Minister of Environment

- David Akeeagok (Quttiktuq): Minister of Finance

- Pat Angnakak (Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu): Minister of Health, and Minister responsible for suicide prevention

- Jeannie Ehaloak (Cambridge Bay): Minister of Justice, Minister responsible for Qulliq Energy Corporation, and Minister responsible for Status of Women

- David Joanasie (South Baffin): Minister of Education, Minister responsible for the Nunavut Arctic College, and Minister of Culture and Heritage

- Lorne Kusugak (Rankin Inlet South): Minister of Community and Government Services, and Minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation

Quassa noted the mix of new and returning politicians, and stressed a first: the cabinet of seven includes three women.

"I want to assure Nunavummiut that we have heard your concerns during this last election. We understand your frustrations and your hopes, and we will undertake the changes you seek. We work for Nunavummiut, in the best interests of our land, our people and our future," said Quassa.