North

Hunter Tootoo to chair Nunavut Planning Commission

Hunter Tootoo, who served as MLA for Iqaluit Centre from 1999 to 2013, has been appointed the new chair of the Nunavut Planning Commission.

Tootoo replaces Paul Quassa, who stepped down ahead of the 2013 general election

Hunter Tootoo, who served as MLA for Iqaluit Centre from 1999 to 2013, has been appointed the new chair of the Nunavut Planning Commission.

Bernard Valcourt, the minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, made the appointment.

"Hunter comes with a number of years of diverse experience," says Sharon Ehaloak, the planning commission's executive director based in Cambridge Bay.

She says the group's board of directors recommended Tootoo for the position.

"He's familiar with the file, the land claims agreement and the government and they felt he was the candidate that should represent them as their chair."

Ehaloak says Tootoo will continue working in his senior job at Canadian North since the chair position is part time.

The Planning Commission hasn't had a permanent chair since 2013 when Paul Quassa left for territorial politics. He's now minister of education. In the meantime, Percy Kabloona served as the acting chair.

Lawsuit underway

Tootoo joins the commission at an interesting time. 

The commission recently launched a lawsuit against the federal government, saying it needs more money to hold final consultations on a Nunavut-wide land use plan that's been in development for 18 years. 

It had planned to hold final hearings on the draft plan in Iqaluit this month. 

Instead, it's unclear when the land use plan will be finalized. 

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