Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly has voted to suspend Amittuq MLA Joelie Kaernerk for a second time for being intoxicated in the legislature.

Kaernerk is suspended until the spring session ends on March 14.

When bringing forward the motion Monday to suspend him, Iqaluit-Sinaa MLA Janet Brewster said she offered her compassion and support to Kaernerk.

Kaernerk was not present on Monday. 

This is the second time Kaernerk has been suspended for being intoxicated in the legislature. After the first time, in June 2022, Kaernerk told his colleagues he was seeking help for an addiction.

He was also stripped of his cabinet portfolios in January for an unspecified code of conduct violation.

Brewster said Monday those who sit in the legislature are expected to conduct themselves in a way that shows they can provide “excellent governance” for Nunavummiut.

“When someone is intoxicated, they cannot,” she said.

The incident is said to have happened Saturday. 

“I was very concerned,” Brewster told CBC. “I felt it was my responsibility to bring it to the attention of the Speaker right away, and that’s what I did.”

Brewster said she has been checking in with Kaernerk since his first suspension.

“My hopes for him is that he does get the help that he needs and that he’s able to rejoin us following his suspension,” she said.

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