'My name is Paul and I’m an alcoholic': Okalik's resignation speech | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'My name is Paul and I’m an alcoholic': Okalik's resignation speech

March 04, 2016 - 12:08 PM

IQALUIT, Nunavut - Nunavut's minister of health and justice has quit cabinet over the territory's contentious plan to open a liquor store in Iqaluit. Here is the transcript of Paul Okalik's statement Thursday in the legislature:

"My name is Paul and I'm an alcoholic. The last drink I had was June 11, 1991. I had to stop because my children were about to be born and supported my own family.

"I was blessed with a strong family who supported me in my decision and reaffirmed my decision. I recall my late grandmother telling me, 'If only your mom was here to see it.' It came too late, but it gave me the strength.

"However, I wouldn't have been able to continue if I didn't have the support from other groups when I was living down south. It is with their support and various facilities that I was able to continue my sobriety to this day.

"On that basis, I have been pushing hard for my department to implement the supports needed for our citizens so that we can support them in their fight against addiction. Our recent budget reflected the commitment where we are laying the foundation for our citizens to get the support within their communities. However, that is not complete. There is much more work to be done.

"This morning, I informed my cabinet colleagues that I cannot continue as a minister under the current circumstances. I cannot support an institution of selling beer and wine in my community where we don't have the facilities to support those who may not be able to combat their addictions.

"Accordingly, I am resigning from my ministry today. I will continue to serve as a member of this assembly to serve Nunavut."

(Source:Nunavut Legislature Hansard Blues)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
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