Caucus Media Statement May 4, 2021

YELLOWKNIFE (May 4, 2021) – Caucus of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly have issued the following statement:

On May 4, 2021, Members of the Legislative Assembly met as Caucus to discuss public allegations against Mr. Steve Norn, the Member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh. Caucus provided direction to the Caucus Chair, Rylund Johnson the Member for Yellowknife North, to file a complaint with the Integrity Commissioner in relation to the allegations.

The Integrity Commissioner is an independent statutory officer appointed by the Legislative Assembly pursuant to Part 3 of the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act (the Act). He advises Members and Ministers about avoiding conflicts between their public duties and their private interests, as well as meeting their obligations under the Code of Conduct for Members of the Legislative Assembly.

The Commissioner can receive and investigate complaints that a Member is in a conflict of interest or has breached the Code of Conduct. Upon receipt of a complaint, the Integrity Commissioner must give notice to the Member, and then investigate the complaint. Upon completion of an investigation, the Integrity Commissioner shall deliver a report to the Speaker, the Hon. Frederick Blake Jr., the Member for Mackenzie Delta, the complainant and the Member complained about.

In his report, the Commissioner may dismiss the complaint for a reason set out in s. 102 of the Act, or direct that an inquiry be held before a Sole Adjudicator. The Speaker must provide a copy of the report to each Member of the Legislative Assembly, and to the Clerk. The Speaker also has to table the report in the Assembly, at the earliest opportunity.

“Caucus” is where all 19 Members meet to set broad strategic direction for the Legislative Assembly and discuss matters of widespread importance to the Northwest Territories as they arise. At Caucus, Members sit as equals, free from other positions they may hold such as Speaker, Minister or Committee Chair. Among other things, the mandate of Caucus includes the Members’ Code of Conduct and disciplinary matters.      

The ability to speak freely in Caucus is based on the confidentiality of the proceedings.  Pursuant to the Caucus Process Convention, only the Chair or Deputy Chair, when specifically authorized to do so, should comment upon or release information about matters discussed in Caucus.