Northwest Territories.

AuthorJames, Cynthia

Session

The second Session of the 19th Legislative Assembly resumed from November 22 through to December 9, 2021. After a holiday break, the Assembly recommenced on February 21 to March 11, 2022. The House took a two-week break from March 14 to March 25 and resumed Session again from March 28 to March 31. Speaker Frederick Blake Jr. rescheduled all sittings due to a COVID-19 outbreak, the fall sitting was delayed for approximately six weeks, changing sitting dates from October 13 to November 22, 2022.

On the first sitting day, Premier Caroline Cochrane delivered a sessional statement welcoming members back and highlighting the government's management of the COVID-19 outbreak. An update on mandate commitments was provided. Commitments of note include building a stronger Federal Government partnership, advancing reconciliation with Indigenous Governments and organizations, and supporting efforts to address the effects of residential schools. Other areas included strategic infrastructure, climate change, and securing investments in the resource sector.

The fall sitting focused on the review of the Capital Estimates and passage of the Supplementary Appropriation Acts, with the Winter sitting's key emphasis on the 2022-2023 Main Estimates and Supplementary Appropriations. The Appropriation Act was passed before moving on to the completion of the 2022-2023 Main Estimates review.

The Assembly resumed with a hybrid sitting for the first time, with four members attending virtually. This posed some technical challenges in the final two days when Interpreters were utilized for the first time in a hybrid sitting. The Northwest Territories has 11 official languages. The Assembly continued to operate with two table officers, with a third table officer monitoring from their office.

Member Conduct Complaint

On May 6, 2021, the Member for Yellowknife North, at the direction of Caucus, lodged a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner regarding the Member for Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh's alleged breach of COVID-19 self-isolation protocol. The Integrity Commissioner's investigation resulted in a report to the Board of Management, recommending an inquiry before a Sole Adjudicator, which they accepted.

The Speaker, on the recommendation of the Board of Management, appointed a Sole Adjudicator, Justice Ronald L. Barclay, on June 28, 2021. It was determined a public inquiry would be held. The hearing was held October 4-8, 2021, and concluded on November 2 after a break due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Legislative Assembly.

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