Nunavut's chief medical officer 'no longer employed with the government'

The Nunavut government is releasing few details on why Dr. Kim Barker is no longer the territory's chief medical officer of health. 

In a statement emailed to CBC News on Thursday, the territorial Department of Health wrote, "effective Tuesday, Dr. Kim Barker is no longer employed with the Government of Nunavut."

The email goes on to say that Dr. Mike Patterson will be the acting chief medical officer of health until the position is filled or a locum is in place. 

The department said it would not comment further "to respect the privacy and confidentiality of current and past employees."

Travis Burke/CBC

Barker was hired as Nunavut's deputy chief medical health officer in April 2015 after she resigned as the head of the Algoma Public Health Unit in Ontario. She was promoted to Nunavut's chief medical health officer in January 2016. 

The doctor's abrupt departure from the role came the same day she spoke on the government's behalf to answer questions about legal cannabis on CBC's morning call-in show, Qulliq.

A spokesperson with the Department of Health said in an email that Barker was acting on full authority as the government's chief medical officer of health when she appeared on Qulliq, and that her departure has nothing to do with her ability as a medical authority.