Tom Sammurtok, ex-cabinet minister, censured by Nunavut legislature

Nunavut MLAs voted unanimously Wednesday to censure a former cabinet minister who was charged with drunk driving earlier this year.

Sammurtok was charged with drunk driving in April

Nunavut MLAs voted unanimously Wednesday to censure a former cabinet minister charged with drunk driving earlier this year.

Tom Sammurtok, MLA for Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet, drove his Ford Escape into a ditch after leaving the Frobisher Inn in Iqaluit on April 13. When RCMP officers arrived to help him, Sammurtok backed into the police cruiser.

A breathalyzer revealed his blood alcohol level was 0.19, more than double the legal limit of 0.08.

"I deeply regret my actions, and I am immediately taking steps to seek help and healing from professionals," he said at the time.

Sammurtok was minister of Community and Government Services at the time. He was stripped of his portfolio the day after the incident, but remained in cabinet until resigning in May. 

He pleaded guilty to the charge and in June, was fined $1,500 and banned from driving for a year. 

A motion to censure is a means of formally reprimanding a member of the legislature for his or her actions. 

MLAs put forward a similar motion last fall after first-time MLA David Joanasie was charged with drunk driving while visiting P.E.I. 

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