Thursday, April 05, 2012

Interesting times; election controversies [when are they not controversial], great achievements and the usual Easter doings.

The great achievement is that Noah Nockasak made it to his destination

The controversies in the NG election are two fold.  

First the underhanded announcement by the outgoing president that one of the candidates to replace him had misused her corporate credit card for personal use and filed inaccurate travel claims.
Here is news the release at the time:

 Minister of Education and Economic Development resigns

Nunatsiavut President Jim Lyall announced Wednesday that he has accepted the resignation of Susan Nochasak as Minister of Education and Economic Development.
"Ms. Nochasak has informed me that she no longer wishes to serve as Minister because of personal reasons, and I have accepted her decision," says President Lyall.
Ms. Nochasak has served as a member of the Nunatsiavut Executive Council since being elected to the legislative assembly two years ago. She will continue to sit in the legislature as the Ordinary Member for Hopedale.
First Minister Darryl Shiwak will assume the added responsibilities of Minister of Education and Economic Development until a successor is appointed.
Media Contact:
Bert Pomeroy, Communications

Then this week the president circulates an internal e mail stating the real reasons for the Ministers resignation [sort of like two wrongs not making a right]. As you are aware this internal e mail has now gone public.

I am note sure if using a corporate credit card for personal use is illegal, it has happened time and again both in governments and private corporations. The penalties vary and most times we the public do not hear of them.

But I am fairly sure filing false travel claims for personal gain falls under illegal terms. You only have to look back to MHA’s of the province being convicted for just that, plus additional miss deeds.

The fact that you pay the money back after being caught with your hands in the cash box is irelivent.  

 It sure as hell is immoral and unethical. It is unconscionable that the president and first minister of NG [plus whoever else was involved] participated in sanctioning the cover up; all should be called to account.

It was only a matter of time that the obsession for secrecy within the hierarchy of NG would come back to bite them, this should be that time.

The second controversy bubbling is the Inuttut language abilities of the president. Under the old by-laws of LIA it was black and white. The president had to be fluent in Inuttut. 

This requirement was watered down under the Nunatsiavut Government self government process. 

From the Labrador Inuit Constitution summary:

Chapter 3: President of Nunatsiavut.
Section 4: Qualifications for president.

The president must be able to understand and speak Inuttut. The president must also be 25 years of age or older.

Ambiguous to say the least.

Just shows that people were not paying attention during the self government process.

Now social media is afire with opinions both for and against the president’s fluency abilities, and that is a good thing. Pity social media was not around back in the day.

It is no secrete where I sit on the language issue. Being married to one of the most passionate defenders and advocates for language retention and strengthening I'd be a bit of a fool to go against it, eh?


Old Brooktrout said...

What a bizarre story. I can't tell whether there was ever any intent on Susan's part to have misled her employer about expense claims or not. Jim doesn't make it clear.

So in an attempt to keep this matter private, NG has now given it the highest level of publicity. Nice!

Brian said...

What I get out of it is: SN was busted for misuse of Corp credit card and falsifying travel claims.
NG gives her two options. 1. Resign willingly and all will be hush hush. 2. Don’t resign willingly and be fired resulting in answers having to be given to some hard questions one would think. Which in essence is only one option?

SN takes option #1.

SN then decides to run for president. Prior to close of nominations and after, SN is telling people publicly and on Facebook that she resigned from her portfolio to have time to think about running for president. Which is strange considering she was hardly ever in her office in Hopedale.

Any way someone at NG got a hair up their nose over this and who knows what else, maybe there was an agreement between both parties about what SN future was. Or perhaps some one had an ethical epiphany on the way to the cathedral [highly unlikely].

So JL circulates an internal memo outlining the real reason {NG’s Version] of SN departure from her portfolio.

Internal memo goes public.

Both come out of the CBC interview smelling like they just spend 6 months in solitary.

Subsequently CKOK did a story with only quotes from JL as he refused to do an on air.

Ethical issues are: NG cover up of alleged misdeeds. SA not being honest with her constituents when she decided to run for president.

That is where the naivety comes in on part of SN, not the misuse of credit card

Brian said...

I neglected one thing. JL said that SN paid the monies back only after being busted.

From SN facebook page:
Good Afternoon-
I would like to put out a response to the email that was sent out today from our President.
First of all I would like to mention how sorry I am. Today is not a good day for myself or the people who have supported me.
In the press release it mentions that I have mislead you all. If that was the case I sincerely apologze.
The decision to resign was a difficult one. It was to come ou...t publically or to resign for personal reasons. Thinking that resigning on my own was the best option.
I made a mistake. I sincerely apologize to all of the beneficiaries for that mistake.
I had used the Government Credit Card for personal use. It is something that I shoud not have done. And it was wrong. The funds were paid back.
I hope that you see past this mistake, and vote on my capabilities and not this incident.
I am truely in this for our beneficiaries. I believe in creating a better future for all of us.
I again sincerely apologize. Please email me if you would like to ask any questions.
Susan Nochasak.

Darren Robertson said...

So these are the same folks who approved lifting the Uranium Ban? Priceless.

Anonymous said...

I think that removing the fluency requirement from the language was deliberate, and for good reason: the number of people who are truly fluent 'and' qualified to fill the office of president are few and far between and becoming fewer every day. That said, there is a Language Strategy in place which aims to reinvigorate Inuktitut as the language of government; it will take some time to get there, though, but it will settle the language issue once and for all. Meanwhile, however, and make no mistake on this, NG needs someone qualified for the presidency, and that means someone with the ability to deal with the politicians and other power brokers, someone who is not only deserving of trust and is honest and forthright but has a broad view and grasp of the wider political and economic web that, like it or not, NG is part of. Isolationist and one-dimensional thinking and behaviour will sink this government. There are numerous issues facing NG, so we must resist getting caught up in the language debate to the exclusion of other equally-important issues.

Brian said...

First up Anonymous, if you had the courage of your convictions, of which you highlight in your muse, you should have no problem identifying yourself.

As to you hypotheses, it is so full of holes that it prompted Fran to comment, “That is bullshit”.

If you new Fran [and I suspect you do] then you would know that Fran is not predispositioned to talk or respond in such a manner. That is under normal circumstances, you and your like hit a very sore point with this anti Inuttut empty rhetoric.

Brian said...

No name=no face=no pulpit.

Who you are is very relevant and the ad hominem argument holds no water with me.

You are practicing exactly what you seem to dislike [don’t most of us] about the affairs of NG. That is faceless anonymity making decisions behind closed doors.

As for the ‘bullshit’, I was quoting my wife; you will have to take it up with her. As one who has fought tirelessly for decades to maintain and improve Inuttut I wish you good luck.