Sexual Assault cases raised in NWT Legislative Assembly

Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green, Justice Minister Louis Sebert, and Health and Social Services Minister Glen Abernethy. Art Work and headline from the Globe and Mail's Investigative Report 'Unfounded."

One third of all sexual assault complaints in the NWT were dismissed as unfounded in a recent investigative series by the Globe and Mail.

The article caused a debate over the RCMP’s handling of those cases in the Legislative Assembly last Friday.

“Yet again sexual violence is being kept ‘hush hush.’ These findings are shocking, but it is not enough to be appalled, we must respond. The RCMP have committed to reviewing all recent unfounded cases across the country including here in the NWT.” said Yellowknife Centre MLA Julie Green in her member statement late last week.

Green cited the “Unfounded article,” in both her questions to the Minister of Justice and Health.

“The statistics are clearly really disturbing,” responded Justice Minister Louis Sebert.

“We’ve had some discussions about the Globe and Mail article and the very disturbing findings in there, and I was really happy to hear the work Justice is doing to do with the RCMP to try and change some of those results,” added Health Minister Glen Abernethy.

According to the Globe’s report 39 per cent of complaints were labelled unfounded in Inuvik, 34 per cent of cases were dismissed in Behchoko, and 30 per cent were not followed up on in Fort Liard.

During his response to Green, Minister Sebert said the RCMP are taking this matter seriously, and nationally have been directed to review cases from 2016.

The case from 2010-2014 do not appear to be part of the national review at this time.

About the Author

Josh Campbell
Josh Campbell has returned to the CKLB News Team. He covered female university soccer and volleyball in New Brunswick, prior to graduating from Loyalist College in Mohawk Territory near Belleville, Ontario in 2007. He's covered politics and Indigenous stories in both the NWT and Yukon over the last 10 years.

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