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Nattilik MLA resigns

Jeanne Gagnon
Northern News Services
Published Monday, March 1, 2010

NUNAVUT - Nattilik MLA Enuk Pauloosie resigned from the legislative assembly last week, just 15 months after taking office.

Pauloosie sent Speaker James Arreak a resignation letter dated Feb. 22.

Pauloosie was elected to the legislative assembly Oct. 27, 2008, succeeding then-MLA Leona Aglukkaq, the current federal health minister.

He was suspended without pay last June for being persistently absent and failing to attend committee meetings. He was reinstated into the fall sessions of the legislative assembly this past November.

Gjoa Haven mayor Joanni Sallerina said Pauloosie told him he was thinking of resigning when they spoke a couple of days prior to the resignation. "It wasn't really a surprise," he said. "I didn't think it was going to be that quick. He said he was thinking (of resigning). I'm just hoping we can have a byelection quick so we can have someone voicing our concerns in the legislature."

Taloyoak mayor Charlie Lyall echoed a similar sentiment.

"I wasn't surprised when it happened," he said. "He wasn't attending very many meetings and he was suspended for a whole sitting of the legislative assembly. We need to have an early byelection so we can have representation at the legislative assembly."

A date for a byelection in Nattilik will be announced by the end of this week, said John Quirke, clerk of the legislative assembly.

By law, a byelection needs to be held within six months after a seat becomes vacant. He estimated, based on previous by-elections, it will cost slightly more than $50,000.

The Nunavut legislature will reconvene March 4.