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Resigned minister criticizes leadershipTagak Curley didn't want to be involved with a possible split of the Department of Health and Social Services
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, December 3, 2011
He quit as minister of health and social services as well as minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, for homelessness and for the workers' safety and compensation commission last month.
Speaking from his Iqaluit home, Curley was critical of Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak and others.
"It ended up being quite frustrating - maybe a difference in leadership styles," he said. "The ministers, in my view, are not 100 per cent in charge of their department, in terms of addressing all the key Tamapta mandate."
He said discussions have been ongoing all year to split health and social services into two departments. He received a 30-page report on the possible impact of a split, which, he said, would hurt programs and services.
"I have been building it. I don't want to be in charge of splitting it apart. That's absolutely clear for me," he said.
He added personnel would also be impacted because of the uncertainty.
Curley admits he is unsure whether the department will eventually split, but he said it shouldn't, as all services need to be connected.
Curley had been the minister of health and social services since 2008 and three years is probably the best-before date for a minister, he said.
"No minister, really, should be expected to go beyond three years, especially with health and social services. You need to re-energize," he said.
The morale at health and social services as well as at the Nunavut Housing Corporation is good, said Curley. As for his future, he said he'll remain as a regular MLA and participate in regular caucus discussions.
"I want to hear from Nunavummiut exactly what they feel. I need to consult with my constituents as well," he said.
Cambridge Bay MLA Keith Peterson took on the health and social services portfolio while South Baffin MLA Fred Schell becoming the minister responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, for homelessness and for the workers' safety and compensation board.
Under Curley's leadership, a major review of social services was completed and the Child and Family Services Act was revised.
"Minister Curley was an important member of our cabinet, always promoting discussion and thoughtful analysis of policy issues," stated Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak in a press release. "We all wish him the very best as he embarks upon a new chapter in his life."
The Department of Health and Social and Services declined to comment on what the split might mean or the reasons behind it.