Premier Caroline Cochrane issued a video statement Friday stating that her decision to strip Katrina Nokleby of her ministerial roles was a “very hard,” but necessary one.
Cochrane’s statement followed public reactions by Yellowknife MLAs Rylund Johnson and Caitlin Cleveland, Friday who stated that they were surprised by the decision and want more explanation.
Cochrane explained in a five-minute statement that the decision was part of her responsibility to remove portfolios from ministers if they don’t meet the Premier’s confidence.
However many of the details about the decision have to remain confidential, she said.
“This week I had to make one of those hard decisions and I know that our residents want to know more about that decision,” she said.
“I know the news this week has been difficult to understand for many people. I respect that. But I also respect conversations held in confidence leading to this point. I’m reluctant to share too many details about the concerns with the minister’s personal performance that have been raised by our colleagues.”
Cochrane said that she and Nokleby had made “a collective commitment” last spring to all MLAs that there would be improvements to the minister’s “performance and behaviour.”
The premier said she can’t reveal what those issues were because they were held in meetings in confidence, but added that there were concerns raised by both regular MLAs and ministers related to professionalism, responsiveness to requests to MLAs, willingness to work with standing committees and being open to views of MLAs and ministers.
“Minister Nokleby made a commitment to MLAs and cabinet and told us would we would see improvements,” she said. “Unfortunately there there was little to no progress on these commitments.”