Direct appointments to jobs will continue: N.W.T. premier

Bob McLeod, the premier of the Northwest Territories, says the territory will continue to appoint people directly to jobs in order to fill empty positions, despite calls to make the process more transparent.

Robert Hawkins calls for more transparency; Jane Groenewegen calls for more direct hires

The Northwest Territories premier, Bob McLeod, says the territory will continue to appoint people directly to jobs in order to fill empty positions.

McLeod says every appointment is vouched for by a minister and vetted by cabinet.

Yellowknife Centre MLA Robert Hawkins raised the issue in the legislature yesterday, calling for more transparency in the way people are appointed directly to positions: specifically, a public list each year of who is appointed.

“The answer is no,” said McLeod.

He said direct appointments have been used since the government started and that in every case, the appointments benefit the government. McLeod also said the territory does not normally publicize every new hire and direct appointments should not be any different.

Hay River South MLA Jane Groenewegen spoke up in favour of direct appointments, and called on the government to use them more as a way to make sure that aboriginal and non-aboriginal northerners get jobs.

“I am sick and tired of hearing of the children and the people who have come here and who have been born and raised here, who have invested their life in building the North, and their kids cannot get jobs in the public service of this government,” she said.

The Premier responded saying direct appointments will be part of the government's plan to recruit 2,000 new residents to the territory.

He said that last year 6 per cent of new government employees, 103 people, were hired by direct appointment.

Two thirds of those people were affirmative action hires.


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