Iqaluit city councillor quits following fall out over response to her father’s Facebook post

Council demands resignation, councillor says she’s being labelled as a racist


Malaiya Lucassie has resigned as an Iqaluit city councillor after the council voted unanimously to demand that she quit.

The move comes after she supported her father’s post questioning how many Black Lives Matter supporters have had abortions.

Her father, Nunavut MLA Patterk Netser, was critical of the Black Lives Matter protest that took place in Iqaluit shortly after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“All lives matter. Just thinking out loud. The movement of BLM. I wonder how many BLM ladies go through abortion and at what stage of the gestation? Are they not lives too?” he posted to social media.

Lucassie responded, “I wondered why the city of Iqaluit did a BLM protest earlier this year when Floyd was killed by an officer. And than I thought why is there not a movement for indigenous folks,” she wrote.

In her statement following her resignation, Lucassie wrote that, “the city has portrayed me as an Inuk with a racist attitude.”

APTN New requested an interview with Lucassie but it was not granted by the time this article was published.

Mayor Kenny Bell said he doesn’t agree with Lucassie’s characterization of council’s decision.

“Absolutely not, we had nothing to do with what she posted online,” said Bell. “I was kind of shocked that she said that in the first place. I reached out to her, she didn’t respond.”

Netser is still a sitting member of the legislature but was stripped of his ministerial duties Oct. 8 by Nunavut Premier Joe Savikataaq because of the post.

“An unacceptable social media post was brought to my attention yesterday. As a result, I have made Minister Patterk Netser a Minister without portfolio, effective immediately,” the statement said.

Unlike the federal or provincial leaders, Nunavut’s premier can’t remove a cabinet minister under its consensus system of government.

The Nunavut legislative assembly will decide his fate when it reconvenes Oct. 21.

Video Journalist / Iqaluit

Kent has been APTN’s Nunavut correspondent since 2007. In that time he has closely covered Inuit issues, including devolution and the controversial Nutrition North food subsidy. He has also worked for CKIQ-FM in Iqaluit and as a reporter for Nunavut News North.