The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly ruled Monday that the MLA for Yellowknife Centre crossed the line when questioning the health minister last week.
Robert Hawkins told Tom Beaulieu he should step down from cabinet if he's not going to show more leadership.
N.W.T. Speaker Jackie Jacobson says Hawkins used insulting, abusive and disrespectful language.
Jacobson asked him to apologize and withdraw his comments.
"I find it unimaginably difficult to take back passion and energy," Hawkins responded. "But with that said, what I will do is, I will respect your ruling and I will apologize for my concerns that I may have inflicted to that cabinet."
Jacobson asked him three times to withdraw his remarks.
"Mr. Hawkins, wasting more time of this house, I'm going to ask you once again to withdraw your remarks and apologize to the house."
"My apologies, Mr. Speaker," Hawkins said. "That was my intent when I say I apologize to this house sincerely and fully, and with that I withdraw the remarks."
Jacobson told the house behaviour that may pass in other legislatures isn't tolerated in the N.W.T.'s consensus government.
This is the second time in a week the speaker has had to rule on decorum issues in the legislative assembly.
Last Thursday, Jacobson ruled Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche didn't break any rules when he made light of Yellowknife not getting much in this year's infrastructure budget.