Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut

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The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut is the presiding officer of the territorial legislature in Nunavut, Canada. Since 1999 the position has been elected by Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) using a secret ballot. The current Speaker is George Qulaut.[1]

The office of the Speaker[edit]

As the politics of Nunavut are run under a Westminster system, the role of the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in Nunavut is very similar to that of the Speaker of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, the Speaker of the House of Commons of Canada and the Speakers of the various other Canadian legislatures. The Speaker is responsible for enforcing the Rules of the Legislative Assembly,[2] and indeed the responsibilities of this office are also set out by these Rules. The Speaker is also the Chairperson of the Management and Services Board, which is tasked with the administration of the Legislative Assembly Precinct and the Office of the Legislative Assembly.[3]

The Speaker is elected on the first sitting day of the Assembly following a general election. Business may not commence before a Speaker is elected. The Speaker holds a casting vote should any vote of Members of the Legislative Assembly result in a tie, and should the Speaker be unable to act, the Deputy Speaker may act in his or her place. Decisions of the Speaker are not subject to debate or appeal.[4]

The former Speaker, Hunter Tootoo, was elected by MLAs on June 1, 2011. Tootoo, who was most recently Nunavut's Minister for Education prior to taking up his new role, is the longest-serving Member of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, and the only Member who was present in the first Assembly, opened in 1999.[5]

List of speakers[edit]

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
District Member Years as Speaker
Quttiktuq Levi BarnabasA 1999–2000
Arviat Kevin O'Brien 2000–2004
Tununiq Jobie NutarakB 2004–2006
Pangnirtung Peter Kilabuk 2006–2008
Uqqummiut James Arreak[6] 2008–2010
Iqaluit West Paul Okalik[7] 2010-2011
Iqaluit Centre Hunter Tootoo[8] 2011-2013
Amittuq George Qulaut[1] 2013-present


  • ^A Levi Barnabas was convicted of sexual assault in 2000.[9]
  • ^B Jobie Nutarak died in a snowmobile accident in 2006.[10]