North

Yellowknife MLA Julie Green sworn in as cabinet minister, her portfolios still undecided

Green replaces ousted industry and infrastructure minister Katrina Nokleby, though what she will be doing in cabinet will not be known until "later in September," a cabinet spokesperson said.

Swearing-in ceremony marked the close of an extraordinary emergency session

Julie Green signs the oath of office as part of her swearing-in ceremony Tuesday. (John Last/CBC)

Yellowknife MLA Julie Green was sworn in as the N.W.T.'s newest cabinet minister Tuesday as the last act of an extraordinary emergency session of the legislature.

Green replaces Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby, who was ousted from cabinet in a 16-1 vote that was the focus of the emergency session.

Green, who criticized the "chaos created by" Nokleby in that vote, recited the oath of office that pledges ministers to "duly and faithfully, and to the best of [their] skills and knowledge, execute the powers and trust reposed in [them]."

The assembly is now adjourned until Oct. 15, when MLAs had originally intended to resume.

Portfolios still undecided

What Green will do in cabinet is still unknown.

While Nokleby, an engineer, oversaw the departments of Infrastructure and Industry, Tourism and Investment, Premier Caroline Cochrane suggested last week that other ministers may be shuffled out of their current portfolios.

A caucus retreat held last weekend "was focused on caucus issues," cabinet spokesperson Trista Haugland wrote in an email, and portfolios were not discussed.

WATCH | Green speaks after her selection as minister last week:

"I'm standing here on my own merits," says MLA for Yellowknife Centre, Julie Green, after being acclaimed to become N.W.T.'s newest minister. 2:59

Instead, the premier "will be working collaboratively with [ministers] in coming days to discuss potential portfolio assignments," Haugland wrote.

The public won't know those assignments until "later in September," she said.

"Following these discussions the premier will take some time to consider assignments, and will then need to share her decision with ministers and regular MLAs prior to a public announcement."

Who is Julie Green?

Green is a two-term MLA representing the downtown riding of Yellowknife Centre, the territory's most urban riding.

Born in England and raised in Edmonton, she has lived in Yellowknife since 2000, and reported for the CBC until 2009. She is well connected with the non-profit community, having served on a number of local boards.

As a candidate in 2019, Green emphasized the need for economic diversification, pushing for investment in housing retrofits, tourism infrastructure, and reducing the cost of living.

In a 2019 interview with Northern News Services Ltd., she said she did not support the creation of a northern addictions treatment facility, but did advocate for universal child care.

Green has also been a longtime advocate for increasing the representation of women in politics. She told CBC News the work she and Cochrane undertook to encourage women to run in the 2019 election is among her proudest accomplishments.

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