Nunavut MLAs accept integrity report on Simailak
Former cabinet minister apologizes for conduct while in cabinet
Members of Nunavut's legislative assembly voted Wednesday to accept a report by the integrity commissioner, sanctioning Baker Lake MLA David Simailak for his conduct while he was a cabinet minister.
All but one MLA voted to accept the findings of acting commissioner Norman Pickell's report, which concluded that Simailak had repeatedly violated Nunavut's Integrity Act while he was minister of economic development and of finance between 2005 and 2007.
The report, filed in the assembly last week, found that Simailak was in a conflict of interest, violated the conditions of a blind trust, and attempted to use his influence as a cabinet minister.
The violations arose from Simailak's involvement in private business interests he had while he was in cabinet.
Pickell's report recommended that Simailak pay a $5,000 fine and formally apologize to the legislative assembly for what he had done.
Hudson Bay MLA Peter Kattuk was the lone MLA who voted against accepting the report Wednesday afternoon, saying it does not conform with traditional Inuit values.
Kattuk also argued that the $5,000 recommended fine was too high, and that accepting the report would create difficulty for the people of Baker Lake.
But Simailak himself accepted the report, and apologized to the assembly after the vote was held.
He told MLAs he understood he had done something wrong, and promised to do his best to adhere to the Integrity Act in the future.
Simailak's apology comes two days before the Nunavut legislative assembly will dissolve for an Oct. 27 territorial election.
Candidates, including incumbent MLAs, can start filing their declarations of candidacy on Monday. Simailak has not announced whether he will seek a second term.
But if he decides to run, Pickell's report says Simailak would have to deliver a letter to every household in his constituency, apologizing for his conduct and promising not to do it again.
The letter would also have to inform voters on where they can find the report.