New Nunavut Speaker
On November 17, Tununiq MLA Joe Enook was acclaimed as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. “Lets get to work,” Mr. Enook said, after assuming his duty as chair of the forum where the territory’s premier and cabinet were also selected. He formally took the Speaker’s chair on November 21 at the beginning of the first sitting of the 5th Legislative Assembly of Nunavut.
Formerly the Chair of the Baffin Divisional Board of Education, Vice-President of Nunavut Operations for the Nunasi Corporation, and Executive Assistant to the President of Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Mr. Enook has also held positions in the travel and tourism industry.
Previously elected to the 3rd and 4th Legislative Assemblies, Mr. Enook had served as the Deputy Speaker and Chair of the Committee of the Whole.
Outside of the legislature, Mr. Enook’s interests include reading, sports and camping. He lives with his partner is Mary D. Kilabuk.
New British Columbia Speaker
On September 8, Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas was acclaimed as the new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The position had been vacant since Speaker Steve Thomson resigned on June 29 following the defeat of the Liberal government on a non-confidence motion.
Plecas’s decision to seek the speakership was met with a mixture of joy and dismay among his colleagues in the Assembly. Having been re-elected to a second-term as a Liberal MLA in the 2017 election, he was expelled from the party on September 9. Party officials said the expulsion was in response to “repeated promises and assurances that he would not” seek the Speaker’s position under an NDP minority government.
Premier John Horgan congratulated Plecas and said he was delighted the MLA had “taken up the challenge of keeping us honest, keeping us fair and keeping us on course.” In his remarks following the acclamation, Interim Opposition Leader Rich Coleman noted the Speaker’s job is “to protect the integrity of the institution and always to act honourably.”
Plecas noted that he had always wanted to become Speaker. “The Speaker’s job is an incredibly honourable role,” he said. “If somebody said to me, ‘What is the single best role a person could have as an MLA, especially for somebody from my background?’ That would be it.”
A former criminology professor at the University of the Fraser Valley, he also spent eight years working as a federally-appointed prison judge. Plecas explained that in this role he had heard over 5,000 cases and thus has “a track record of being impartial in difficult circumstances.” He holds two degrees in Criminology from Simon Fraser University and a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of British Columbia.
In the previous parliament, Plecas served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Crime Reduction.
Correction: Due to an editing error, incorrect French text appeared in Ginette Grandmont’s “Message to my Younger Self” submission in the previous issue. We reprint her message here and offer our sincere apology for the mistake.
A Message To My Younger Self
Former MNA for Masson (Quebec)
A surprise awaited me at the end of two very busy careers and after I had raised my family: to my great surprise, I was elected to the National Assembly in 2007. It was a wonderful experience, but ended too quickly.
If I had known when I was younger that political life would be so rewarding, I would have gone into it much sooner.
If you’re an ambitious young woman, don’t hesitate to jump into politics. It is rewarding and demanding, but it is worth the effort.