Fingers on the pulse
Premier's executive secretary always busy

Iqaluit (May 01/00) - Last Wednesday didn't offer a lot of extra time for Judy Anilniliak to be catered to, despite the fact that it was Secretary's Day.

As the executive secretary for the Office of the Premier, Anilniliak says the busiest days are when the government is in session -- as it has been for the past month.

"During session there are a lot of documents coming in every day, as well as all of the information from cabinet," she says as she fields a call for the premier's principal secretary.

"Everything filters through me and I have to take the information and make sure everyone in our office is aware of it and nobody is missing anything."

Crucial indeed, especially when the head honcho in your office is Paul Okalik, who is busy heading up the territory of Nunavut.

Travel plays a critical role in the office and Anilniliak says there are many times when she is the only one who remains in the capital.

"If everyone is away travelling, I still have to keep them informed of what is happening here.

"They leave me a schedule and numbers of where they will be each night so I pretty much know where they are all of the time."

And, of course, working in the Office of the Premier means being on top of her game when it comes to understanding and following the particulars of the government, even if she has yet to find time to make her way to the main floor of the legislature and watch the government in action.

"I haven't had a chance to sit and watch a session yet, but because pretty much everything comes or goes through me I'm always aware of what is happening.

"This session is particularly busy because of the budget," she says.

"I actually got to take part in the very first sitting of the legislature because when I first started with the government I worked for the clerk's office and that was really nice."

Of other notable occasions, Anilniliak quickly names April 1 of last year as a very memorable part of her job.

"I would say April 1 was the most exciting day, to be a part of the opening ceremonies and everything else that happened that day."