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Lawsuit against government

Former deputy minister launches action

Christine Kay
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Oct 21/02) - The Government of Nunavut is being sued for nearly $1 million by one of its former deputy ministers for wrongful dismissal.

The plaintiff, Katherine Trumper, former deputy minister of Sustainable Development, claims that on Aug. 21, 2001 she was told there were concerns with her performance by Anne Crawford, who was serving as secretary to cabinet at the time. Trumper was then told she would be replaced and reassigned to the position of deputy minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.

She had served as deputy minister of Sustainable Development since April 1998.

The statement of claim suggests that she was never told of any concerns prior to her reassignment. In fact, the claim states that Trumper was awarded performance pay for her work during the fiscal year which ended March 31, 2000.

Trumper asked for a copy of her performance evaluation when she was told of cabinet's concerns over her work performance.

"The plaintiff did not receive the performance evaluation until March 28, 2002, 10 months past the deadline, and seven months after termination," the statement read.

The claim argues that the delay producing this document did not allow Trumper the opportunity to respond and discuss her employer's concerns.

Nino Wischnweski, media co-ordinator for the Nunavut government, refused to comment on the lawsuit, except to say that, "this matter will be dealt with in the legal system."

The government filed an appearance, or an acknowledgement of having been served, on Sept. 19.

Trumper's lawyer is still waiting for the government to submit a statement of defence.