Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight React to Cabinet's Response to the motion to Establish a Public Inquiry into the 2023 Wildfires

YELLOWKNIFE, Friday, February 23, 2024 – Members of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight would like to express their disappointment that Cabinet voted against yesterday’s motion to Establish a Public Inquiry into the 2023 Wildfires.
Committee made multiple attempts to work with Cabinet on ways to advance an independent review of the wildfire response. That collaboration is reflected in the changes to the original motion, including the addition of draft establishment orders rather than calling for an inquiry. That amendment was to allow flexibility in how an establishment order can be issued and used by the Government.  Committee welcomes the reviews currently taking place but disagrees with Cabinet that a Public Inquiry would not be flexible or support the territory in their efforts to improve the Territory’s emergency management system.  Members reiterate that the review of the events of summer 2023 must be independent and public. The public needs to understand what the Government is looking at and feel comfortable in providing their feedback during that process. 
Committee will continue working collaboratively with Cabinet on the review of the 2023 wildfire response.  Cooperative efforts informed by an understanding of all sides will allow for the public to feel confident in the review and the actions that result from such a review.  As per the Guiding Principles and Process Conventions of Consensus Government in the Northwest Territories, Committee will be seeking a meeting with the Premier to further discuss next steps and expectations in these reviews in hopes of finding a shared path forward together.     
Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight
Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly
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