Community leaders say Mackenzie Delta MLA missing in action
Tsiigehtchic chief says Frederick 'Sonny' Blake Jr. has attended only one community meeting since election
Leaders in the Mackenzie Delta say their MLA has been missing in action.
Frederic Blake Jr., known to most as Sonny, missed legislative assembly work after a night of drinking in Inuvik a month ago. He has not made any public statements about the incident.
Now, several leaders in the Delta say Blake hasn't made any effort to meet with band councils since he was elected 18 months ago.
"Well, he's letting us down," said John Norbert, an elder and councillor in Tsiigehtchic.
Norbert said the Inuvik incident reflects poorly on Blake. He said the MLA should get treatment if drinking is affecting his work.
"Myself, if it happened to me, I'd step down," he said. "It's a problem in the Northwest Territories, but it's not right that it happens in the N.W.T. and the legislative assembly and they let it go."
"It's time to smarten up, show that you're the guy to do the work and behave yourself."
Tsiigehtchic Chief Philip Blake said Sonny Blake has not made any effort to update the community or ask for input from the band.
He said it’s disappointing because he had hoped that an MLA from Tsiigehtchic would represent the small community's concerns, such as policing and infrastructure.
"Going forward, I'd like to see him come to the communities, visit with our community council, get the issues of the community, start working for the communities," he said.
The chief added that Blake has only attended one public meeting in his home community since being elected, and that was a devolution meeting when other MLAs were visiting.
The chief said he doesn’t think his MLA should resign, but he hopes Sonny Blake will apologize and get help.
Philip Blake said the Mackenzie Delta's previous representative, David Krukto, attended public meetings regularly.
Krutko declined an interview, but he said it is an MLA's responsibility to consult with and represent communities' concerns.
CBC News has left numerous messages with Sonny Blake over the past four weeks. He has not responded.