R.J. Simpson

Member Hay River North

Hay River North Electoral District

R.J. Simpson was elected to the 20th Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, representing the constituency of Hay River North. On December 7th, 2023, Mr. Simpson was elected Premier of the Northwest Territories.

Mr. Simpson was formerly acclaimed to the 19th Legislative Assembly and first elected into the 18th Assembly in 2015.

Mr. Simpson was Deputy Speaker of the 18th Assembly, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Government Operations, and the Chair of the Special Committee on Transition Matters. Mr. Simpson was also a member of the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning and the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment.

Mr. Simpson is a lifelong resident of Hay River After graduating from Diamond Jenness Secondary School in 1998 Mr. Simpson went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts from MacEwan University and a law degree from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law.

Mr. Simpson has previously worked with the Government of Canada, Northern Transportation Company Ltd, Métis Nation Local 51, and Maskwa Engineering.

While at law school, Mr. Simpson was the President of the Aboriginal Law Students’ Association. He has also served on the board of the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre in Hay River and volunteered with the Canada-Ghana Education Project.

Committees

Hay River North
Member's Office

Yellowknife NT X1A 2L9
Canada

P.O. Box
1320
Email
Extension
11120
Constituency Office

62, promenade Woodland, bureau 104
Hay River Nord NT X0E 1G1
Canada

Phone
Minister
Email
Premier of the Northwest Territories, Minister of Executive and Indigenous Affairs, Minister of Justice, Government House Leader

Statements in Debates

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, again, that's the work that is happening as we negotiate the Akaitcho treaty, and so I look forward to that progressing. Thank you.

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So with the passage of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Implementation Act, we are now obliged through that legislation to develop an action plan for implementation of UNDRIP, and that is going to be and it's legislated to be codeveloped with Indigenous governments, and so that is the avenue to address a lot of these issues. And if there is things such as taxation that the government would like addressed, the time to bring it up is right at the beginning so that work can happen during the development of that action plan. Thank you.

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I plan to continue the good work that has been happening. I've seen the Council of Leaders from its inception and how it's progressed over four years. One of the biggest benefits of the Council of Leaders is relationship building. I know, you know, all the leaders around that table now. I've made personal phone calls to virtually all of them, if not all of them, over the past few weeks. And so just that relationship side is a big part of that. Under the Council of Leaders, there is other work that can be done in other areas. So there's a housing forum that was developed...

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, again, I have no policy mechanisms to impact what is happening in Gaza. But that being said, the Northwest Territories does work with the federal government when it comes to immigration, and so I know the federal government has implemented some changes to their processes and the Northwest Territories Nominee Program, which is our side of that immigration process, is doing what it can to expedite or help expedite applications for those who are coming from impacted regions. Thank you.

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, this has been quite an emotional motion right from the time conversations about it started, the conversations around the petition. We have residents in our territory who are directly impacted by the ongoing conflict. And, frankly, I can't comprehend what they must be going through and hopefully no one in this room ever has to will ever know what that is like. From everything I've seen, it looks like people are in a living hell right now. And so I appreciate that the Members have brought this forward to bring this conversation to the forefront. It is...

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I've got to say I'm a little surprised that the committee hasn't done that themselves. They have the full authority to make that offer or reach out to the RCMP, and I know that the commanding officer would be happy to appear and have those discussions. So I can pass along the message but what I recommend is that the committee actually write a letter and ask for that meeting. That way you start building a relationship between the committee and the commanding officer. If I act as a gobetween, I'm just kind of passing notes back and forth. Thank you.

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. One of the main things that I've been doing during this Assembly is lobbying my fellow MLAs to also make crime prevention and law enforcement a priority. We wound up with that in our priorities of this Assembly. Well, public safety, and so I'm happy to see that. And that will allow us to now move forward hopefully with some other initiatives. I meet regularly with the commanding officer of the RCMP. We discuss some of the challenges they're facing, potential solutions, and I'm always trying to find ways to provide additional support to the RCMP. We've added new RCMP...

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Speaker. So, of course the Government of the Northwest Territories was providing funding for the operations of the Spruce Bough, and that was federal money that we were using and, of course, we always knew that that funding was going to run out and so, unfortunately, there wasn't a way to extend that funding. And so we're not at the point where that funding is going to expire. We have found some funding to allow the operation to extend for a few more months to buy us a bit more time. I believe that there are meetings happening maybe today or tomorrow with the most...

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And, again, it is that treaty process, so I look forward to or the negotiations, so I look forward to including this and being able to in future Assemblies say yes, those issues have been settled. The issues that the Member from Tu NedheWiilideh raised back in the 20th, we've dealt with those, we now have this the Akaitcho treaty and, you know, the Akaitcho people are exercising their inherent right to selfdetermination and selfgovernment. Thank you.

Debates of , 20th Assembly, 1st Session (day 13)

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. And we are going through that process right now, and that is the land claim and selfgovernment negotiations. I think that is what we need to conclude to ensure that there is a welldefined relationship between the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Government of Canada, and the governments in Treaty 8 territory. And so in terms of the Akaitcho treaty that we hope to finalize in the not too distant future, that would be the place to identify those relationships, and that is why it is important that we get that AIP concluded, to reference the Member's questions...