Patterk Netser says his controversial abortion-related social media post was not targetted at any particular group and Premier Joe Savikataaq was too quick to strip his cabinet portfolios.
His Facebook comments posted on his personal page a couple of days ago stated that all lives matter and opposed abortion. Netser, a practising Christian, says he has a right to express his religious beliefs but he doesn’t try to impose them on others.
“I’m a father of six, grandfather of 19 grandchildren and now I have two great-grandchildren and I have often thought if they had been aborted I would not know their unique personalities,” he said. “It was a post on little babies that get aborted. Do not their lives matter too? I was not picking on any special interest groups or anything. I was just expressing my inherent right as a Canadian citizen on my freedom of beliefs… We all have different points of view. I expect them (the Government of Nunavut) to respect my point of view, but I guess not.
“It’s been on my mind for many, many months now. I just thought, well, since everybody’s talking about Black lives matter, then everybody’s life matters. I just put it out there. Don’t these little lives matter too?” he said.
In removing Netser’s cabinet posts, Savikataaq stated that the Government of Nunavut “values diversity, equality and fairness for all.”
Netser asked, “Where’s my equality? Is it not being fair to my convictions and beliefs on what I stand for? We Inuit have always valued life even before the gospel came to Nunavut, to my people.”
He said he believes Savikataaq is “overreacting” and he values diversity and equality. He said he has two women working on his staff and he “deeply respects them” even though they have different points of view than him.
Whether Savikataaq reverses course or whether his colleagues in the legislative assembly express support for him, Netser said he won’t sacrifice his morals.
“I’m willing to take the judgement on what they give me, but I stand by my convictions and I refuse to compromise my values,” he said.