Jeannie Ugyuk, Nunavut's Family Services minister, fails confidence vote
'I expected it,' Ugyuk told CBC News. 'It's been a rough two years'
Premier Peter Taptuna survived Saturday's leadership forum, but Netsilik MLA Jeannie Ugyuk could be on her way out as Nunavut's minister of Family Services after she failed a confidence vote.
Twenty-one MLAs cast a ballot on the performances of seven cabinet ministers and the premier during the mid-term leadership review in Iqaluit. The majority are not happy with Ugyuk and her performance as minister.
"I expected it," Ugyuk told CBC News. "It's been a rough two years."
But Ugyuk is not going down without a fight.
She told MLAs she would like a motion if they want her removed from the executive council. Then she delayed proceedings for as long as possible. MLAs will reconvene Monday night at 9 p.m. ET to deal with the motion.
If Ugyuk is removed, a leadership forum could be held Tuesday to fill her spot.
Asked why she didn't resign Saturday night, Ugyuk said, "Because I see a future for the department and they need someone strong to lead them because nobody likes to deal with social issues.
"Whether I'm a minister or a regular MLA, I'm still going to fight for the things I believe in in Nunavut."
The Department of Family Services was created just two years ago, covering several of the territory's most challenging issues. It handles children and family services (from the former department of Health and Social Services, now just Health), income support and career services (which was under Education) and the poverty reduction division.
"You can't always give regular MLAs a happy answer," said Ugyuk.
In the past two years, the department has seen four different deputy ministers.
Premier Peter Taptuna says the non-confidence vote is disappointing. "As a premier, I'm responsible for trying to ensure that their work is done."
But Taptuna is "pleased, happy and relieved" to have survived Saturday's confidence vote himself.
The leadership review marks the halfway point of Taptuna's stint as premier.
"I'm very pleased that a lot of things got accomplished. And again, there's still a lot of work that needs to be done."