Six MLAs in the Northwest Territories were picked by their colleagues Wednesday to join newly-chosen Premier Floyd Roland in forming the newest territorial government.
Voting by secret ballot in Yellowknife, MLAs named the following members to the 16th legislative assembly:
- Jackson Lafferty — Monfwi
- Norman Yakeleya — Sahtu
- Michael McLeod — Deh Cho
- Michael Miltenberger — Thebacha
- Sandy Lee — Yellowknife Range Lake
- Bob McLeod — Yellowknife South
N.W.T. MLAs cast their votes Wednesday in a secret ballot to choose six cabinet ministers among their own ranks.The MLAs' cabinet choices will be made official Thursday, when the legislative assembly will present a formal motion to have them, as well as Roland, appointed to their positions.
Then it will be up to Roland, as premier, to assign portfolios to the ministers.
While Miltenberger and McLeod have served in cabinet in the last government, the other four will be first-time ministers.
The new cabinet will feature the territory's first pair of sibling cabinet ministers: brothers Bob and Michael McLeod.
A first-time MLA, Bob McLeod will also be the newest face in cabinet.
But while he is new to politics, the long-time public servant has been a deputy minister for nine years in a number of territorial government departments, most recently as secretary to cabinet under then-premier Joe Handley.
The Northwest Territories has a consensus-based government.
With no political parties involved, the 19 independent MLAs select the premier, speaker and cabinet ministers among themselves about two weeks after they are elected.
For the latest government, members began the selection process Tuesday — 16 days after the Oct. 1 election — by naming Hay River North MLA Paul Delorey as house Speaker.
On Wednesday morning, Inuvik Boot Lake MLA Floyd Roland won the secret ballot to become premier, garnering more votes from his fellow members than Michael Miltenberger of Thebacha.
Ministers drawn from three regions
That afternoon, members heard speeches from those vying for the six cabinet positions, encouraging their colleagues to vote for them.
To decide who should go into cabinet, MLAs have to consider equal regional representation, with two ministers each to be drawn from districts north of Great Slave Lake, south of the lake and the capital city, Yellowknife.
Of the chosen six, only Michael McLeod was in cabinet when the last legislative assembly dissolved at the end of August.
McLeod was minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, minister of Environment and Natural resources and minister responsible for youth.
Miltenberger, who challenged Roland for the premier's job earlier Wednesday, was health and environment minister in Handley's government until October 2006.
That was when he was ejected from cabinet for allegedly making a threatening gesture toward a non-cabinet MLA who had been questioning him about the operations of Stanton Territorial Hospital.
Miltenberger was also the minister responsible for seniors and persons with disabilities.
Roland, the new premier, was deputy premier and health and finance minister in Handley's cabinet.
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