Independent assessment coming for clerk’s office

The Board of Management decided on an assessment of the "culture and atmosphere for the entire office" rather than an investigation into Clerk Tim Mercer.


(File photo/CKLB).

The Legislative Assembly’s Board of Management has decided to launch an independent workplace assessment of the Office of the Clerk.

The decision comes days after reports of multiple complaints against Tim Mercer, the clerk of the Legislative Assembly.

Earlier in the week, Tu Nehdé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn called for a Mercer’s removal and a third-party investigation into his conduct. He was the latest to air his grievances, saying there was an “ethical rot” originating from the clerk’s office.

CKLB asked why the board decided on an assessment rather than an investigation.

“An investigation investigates an isolated group of people whereas a workplace assessment will assess the culture and atmosphere for the entire office of the clerk,” said Katie Weaver, communications manager for the Legislative Assembly.

Weaver also confirmed the assessment would be done by an external organization, but did not share a timeline for when it would happen.

“The timeline is undetermined. At this time the Legislature is focused on the current sitting and passing the 2021-2022 budget,” she said in an email.

Mercer has previously told CKLB that he would be willing to submit to an independent investigation.

Last week, April Taylor, a staff member in the clerk’s office, sent a letter to the Board of Management calling for Mercer’s removal, alleging the clerk had bullied staff. Taylor has since been suspended from her office for breaking confidentiality.

Mercer has denied the allegations, telling other media that the complaints are a “coordinated attack” against him.

Mercer has been “on leave” while the complaints are assessed.

Asked whether Taylor and Mercer would return to their duties following the board’s decision, “The Legislative Assembly will not comment on personnel matters,” said Weaver.

CKLB asked whether Mercer will be in when the Legislative Assembly resumes sitting next week. We have not received an answer.

In its statement, the board said it “wants to thank employees of the Legislative Assembly for their continued professionalism and their efforts to ensure all Members are supported when the Assembly resumes sitting next week.”

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis has been a general news reporter with CKLB since January 2019. Originally from rural Ontario, he first came to the NWT in 2016 as an intern with Up Here magazine and fell in love with the North. In his time with CKLB, he's had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures. Otherwise, you can find him hanging around the Legislative Assembly. If you have a story or want to chat, reach out to francis@cklbradio.com