Paul Quassa will be Nunavut's next premier

Paul Quassa will lead Nunavut as the territory's next premier, after the former education minister emerged from a leadership forum that also produced a fresh-faced crop of new cabinet ministers.

Paul Quassa next Nunavut premier, Joe Enook selected as Speaker

Paul Quassa was elected Friday by his peers to stand as Nunavut's fourth premier. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

Paul Quassa was selected Friday to sit as the next premier of Nunavut.

Quassa was elected by secret ballot during a daylong leadership forum at the legislative assembly in Iqaluit.

Quassa was born in Manitok, an outpost camp about 20 kilometres north of Igloolik in an igloo. He is a career politician and was a negotiator of the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. He was the minister of education in the previous government.

In the lead up to the territorial election earlier this year, Quassa said the two biggest issues facing Nuanvut were the social well-being of its communities, and working closely with Inuit organizations to improve life for all Nunavummiut.

Later, the Executive Council was selected: David Akeeagok (Quttiktuq), Pat Angnakak (Iqaluit-Niaqunnguu), Jeannie Ehaloak (Cambridge Bay), David Joanasie (South Baffin), Lorne Kusugak (Rankin Inlet South), Joe Savikataaq (Arviat South), and Elisapee Sheutiapik (Iqaluit-Sinaa). The executive council will form the next cabinet, but portfolios have not been assigned yet.

​​The cabinet for the next assembly will stay the same size as the previous government, with seven ministers plus the premier. The premier assigns the portfolios in the days following the leadership forum.

Friday's leadership forum was the first order of business for the new government, which was elected in the Oct. 30 general election.

Early Friday morning, Tununiq MLA Joe Enook was acclaimed Speaker by fellow MLAs-elect.

Four people had put their names forward to run for premier:

  • Arviat South MLA Joe Savikataaq
  • Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Cathy Towtongie
  • Aivilik MLA Patterk Netser
  • Aggu MLA Paul Quassa
On the eve of Nunavut's 5th election, CBC North's Jane Sponagle explains how government without political parties works. 1:57
On the eve of Nunavut's 5th election, CBC's Madeleine Allakariallak explains, in Inuktitut, how government without parties works. 2:48