N.W.T. MLA apologizes for missing meeting due to drinking
Menicoche apologized for "behaviour and lack of judgement"
An MLA in the Northwest Territories who missed two meetings in Inuvik last week because of his drinking issued a written apology to his constituents.
In the statement, Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche apologized for his "lack of judgment and behavior."
He said he feels he may have embarrassed his constituents "as a result of a recent media story" on the incident.
Menicoche and Mackenzie Delta MLA Frederick Blake Jr. were drinking into the early hours of last Friday morning at the Mackenzie Hotel in Inuvik. They were no-shows at a committee meeting that day.
Menicoche, who chairs the standing committee which was meeting, also missed a meeting Sunday morning.
He made no mention of alcohol in the statement, but said he is taking steps this week to address his "personal problems."
It is now up to MLAs to decide what, if any, measures to take against both Menicoche and Blake Jr.
Guidelines set to govern MLA behaviour
Members promise to abide by guidelines set out to govern their behavior in and outside the legislature.
Frame Lake MLA Wendy Bisaro said MLAs are reluctant to criticize one another:
"There's no teeth to go along with the oath that we signed. We are swearing to abide by what's in that code of conduct but there's no penalties that are outlined in legislation or even any policy that we have," she said.
The code of conduct requires MLAs to act in a way which upholds public confidence in government.
As co-chair of the committee, MLA Daryl Dolynny will be leading the closed meeting.
He's refused to be interviewed about it, saying that would be unfair to Menicoche and Blake.
Tim Mercer, the clerk of the Legislative Assembly, said if any action is taken against the two MLAs, it must be done in public.
"Any formal sort of action would have to be taken on the floor of the house. That action could include, if the member held a position on cabinet or a committee chairmanship, then the assembly could formally revoke that appointment on the floor of the house," he said.
There are no rules governing how MLAs discipline one another.