Julie Green, two-term MLA for Yellowknife Centre, will now fill the vacancy on the executive council in the 19th Legislative Assembly following the removal on Wednesday of Katrina Nokleby, MLA for Great Slave.
Green was the only Yellowknife MLA to nominate herself for the position Thursday morning. The three other Yellowknife MLAs Rylund Johnson, Caitlin Cleveland and Kevin O’Reilly didn’t forward their names for the nomination.
“I’ve traveled widely in this territory and developed an understanding of the people,” Green said following her nomination. “There’s a lot of division in this house (but) I look forward to working with the MLAs and my colleagues.”
“I’ve made no promises and none have been made to me. I’m standing here on my own merits and I appreciate your confidence in me.”
But there were some tense moments in the session of the Territorial Leadership Committee after Steve Norn, MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh, made an effort to nominate himself to the vacancy and was told that his constituency is not regarded as part of Yellowknife, making him ineligible for the council. The traditional regional balance for constituencies comprises two ministers from northern constituencies, two from southern constituencies, and two from Yellowknife.
“It sounds like my constituents from Ndilo aren’t from Yellowknife,” Norn said, appearing disappointed.
After Frederick Blake Jr., Speaker of the House told Norn that he wasn’t eligible to stand for the council nomination under the current rules, Norn said “This is not the first time as an Aboriginal man that I’ve been stifled by the system.”
A motion in the Assembly will confirm Green’s appointment when the session continues on Thursday afternoon, according to a press release from the Legislative Assembly issued after the session. Commissioner Margaret Thom will swear in Green as a Member of the Executive Council on Sept. 1.