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Native politician steps down from Cabinet in Canada amid scandal

Filed Under: First Nations in Canada | Politics
More on: hunter tootoo, justin trudeau, nunavut
     
   

Hunter Tootoo in April 2016, when he was still serving as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard in Canada. Photo from Facebook

Hunter Tootoo (Inuk) stepped down from his Cabinet position in Canada after admitting to an "inappropriate" relationship in the workplace but he has rejected calls to resign from Parliament.

Tootoo was named Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard last November. He was one of three Native citizens who joined the Cabinet of new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

But Tootoo left his high-level position on May 31 to seek treatment for "addiction issues," according to a statement he issued at the time. He also left the Liberal party caucus, raising questions about the development.

After going silent on social media for most of June and July, Tootoo finally came forward last week and admitted that he maintained a relationship with someone on his staff. Trudeau's office knew about the situation.

"Deeply sorry. Voluntarily told PMO about consensual relationship. Was asked to keep it private. I resigned went to addiction treatment," Tootoo wrote on Twitter on August 3. PMO refers to the Prime Minister's Office.

Tootoo represents Nunavut in the House of Commons of Canada. He was elected last October in the Liberal party wave that swept Trudeau to power.

Some constituents have called on Tootoo to resign his elected post but he has vowed to stay in office.

Read More on the Story:
Hunter Tootoo admits to an 'inappropriate' relationship, but did he break any rules? (CBC 8/6)
Trudeau kept mum on Tootoo's inappropriate relationship to protect staffer, spokesperson says (CBC 8/4)
'No, I'm not resigning,' Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo says after explaining why he left Liberal caucus (CBC 8/4)

Related Stories:
Mark Trahant: A new era of reconciliation emerges in Canada (11/09)


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