North

MLAs expected to vote on N.W.T. Justice Minister Louis Sebert's spot in cabinet

Northwest Territories Justice Minister Louis Sebert’s status as a cabinet minister is the main issue as MLAs return to the Legislative Assembly Tuesday.

Thebacha MLA lost confidence of a majority of MLAs during Oct. 5 midterm review

Minister of Justice Louis Sebert was the only member of cabinet to lose an Oct. 5 confidence vote from MLAs following a midterm performance review. (Richard Gleeson/CBC)

Justice Minister Louis Sebert's status as a cabinet minister is the main issue as Northwest Territories MLAs return to the Legislative Assembly Tuesday.

Legislators will be back in the assembly for the first time since the Oct. 5 midterm review process ended with Sebert losing a confidence vote. He is also the minister responsible for lands, transparency and the NWT Power Corporation. 

MLAs are now left to decide whether to follow that up with a motion to remove him through a public vote in the legislature.

"I want to see the motion on the floor and I want the people to stand up and make their views known," said Julie Green, the MLA for Yellowknife Centre.

"We committed to making ourselves accountable for our performance and that's what we're doing."

Regular MLAs need to follow through with removing Sebert for the midterm review process to have any meaning, Green said. She said she's spoken with Sebert about her concerns with his performance — particularly with his handling of the review of the men's healing program A New Day.

Green said Sebert knows she doesn't support him as minister.

"I don't know with great confidence what's going to happen, but what I hope will happen is the non-confidence motion will be followed by a motion to revoke his appointment to cabinet," Green said.

"He has proven not to be a great cabinet minister in a number of areas."

Kam Lake MLA Kieron Testart said he was also uncertain about what will happen Tuesday, but he expects a motion to remove Sebert to come early in the sitting. He voted against Sebert and all cabinet ministers in the confidence vote.

Though regular MLAs described the midterm review process as a way to hold cabinet ministers accountable, the nearly nine-hour meeting did not in itself change Sebert's role as minister since the results of the vote are non-binding.

During the review, Sebert — alongside all the other cabinet ministers — said he would not be resigning.

A spokeswoman for Sebert said Monday there has been "no update" from that position and he "looks forward" to resolving the matter this week.   

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