Regular MLAs surprised by Katrina Nokleby dismissal, will now debate her cabinet seat

(File photo/CKLB)

Katrina Nokleby’s days as a member of the executive council may be numbered.

Speaker Frederick Blake Jr. has announced the Legislative Assembly will reconvene on Monday, Aug. 24.

While not in the official notice to reconvene, Julie Green, MLA for Yellowknife Centre, said on social media that members will present a motion of revocation to remove Nokleby from her cabinet position.

If the majority votes are in favour of Nokleby’s removal then it kicks off the Territorial Leadership Committee process where interested MLAs put their name forward, give a speech and then all MLAs vote via secret ballot.

The decision to reconvene comes after Premier Caroline Cochrane stripped Nokleby of her role as minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, and Infrastructure.

Some MLAs have finally broken the silence surrounding the decision. Rylund Johnson and Caitlin Cleveland, MLAs for Yellowknife North and Kam Lake, both stated in social media posts they were surprised by the premier’s decision. Both stated regular MLAs were told the decision only one hour before the GNWT issued the announcement publicly and were not given any more details.

I am very disappointed that we are now at this place,” wrote Cleveland. “I always had a positive working relationship with Minister Nokleby and am frustrated that I do not have a full picture of what is going on to be able to answer the questions of my constituents.”

Johnson echoed those frustrations, saying, “We can’t continue to operate in layers of confidential meetings, the public deserves to stay informed on our decisions.”

Other than citing “concerns” with Nokleby’s performance, the premier has not given specific details on why she decided to remove Nokleby from her position.

The same thing happened when Nokleby faced a non-confidence vote in the spring, which fizzled before being debated.

It was embarrassing, to say the least, and I thought we had put the issue to bed for awhile, the Premier even stating she had the ‘utmost confidence’ in Minister Nokleby,” said Johnson of the incident.

The public gallery remains closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but media can attend in person.

The sitting is expected to wrap up by Monday, Sept. 1.

Updated Aug. 21 with comments from MLAs Johnson and Cleveland.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.