North

Jane Groenewegen unseated after 20 years in N.W.T. legislature

Jane Groenewegen, one of the N.W.T.’s longest serving MLAs, was unseated in Monday night’s territorial election, after 20 years in the legislature.

'It is what it is. And for me, a new chapter now,' says ousted Hay River South MLA

Jane Groenewegen, one of the Northwest Territories' longest serving MLAs, was unseated in Monday night's territorial election, after 20 years in the legislature.

Wally Schuman beat Groenewegen in Hay River South by 98 votes.

"People chose, I'm not happy with the results," Groenewegen said Tuesday morning.

"But we respect what the people decide. It is what it is. And for me, a new chapter now, for sure."

Groenewegen had won five straight elections in the N.W.T., first taking the seat in 1995.

She said she didn't approach this campaign any differently than her last ones.

"People are speaking out for change," she said. "We've seen it on a national level, we've seen it on a municipal level to a certain extent, and now we're seeing it on a territorial level."

What's next

Groenewegen says she's not sure what the future holds yet, but says she was involved in the community before she was elected and she hopes that will continue.

"Ironically, when you're an MLA you do see needs in the community, that because you're serving as the MLA and you are away and it makes you very busy, you can't really get hands-on involved in solutions.

"I'm hoping that I can look around and maybe have some part in addressing some of those."

Groenewegen points to the need for an adequate homeless shelter and women's shelter, as well as more for young people in the community.

"I also hope that other people, either serving in the government, or at other levels of government, will take advantage of my experience," she said.

"I'm going to be totally available to be a support or help in any way I can."

Groenewegen said it was her pleasure to serve the community for so many years.

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