N.W.T. MLA who broke isolation removed as chair of accountability committee

MLAs voted to remove Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn as chair of the standing committee on accountability and oversight after he visited the legislature while he was supposed to be isolating.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn is under fire for visiting legislature while isolating

MLA Steve Norn has been removed as chair of the standing committee on accountability and oversight, MLAs announced Friday. (Mario De Ciccio/Radio-Canada)

The N.W.T. MLA who visited the legislature during a 14-day isolation period has now been removed as chair of the legislature's standing committee on accountability and oversight.

Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn was voted out of his position as chair by other members of the committee Friday, according to a news release from the Legislative Assembly.

Norn will be replaced by longtime Frame Lake MLA Kevin O'Reilly.

"The committee took this step to ensure that its focus remains on keeping the government accountable as the territory navigates the ongoing pandemic, the flooding in the Dehcho region, and the work of the Legislative Assembly," the release reads.

The committee is composed of the 11 regular members of the assembly. It is tasked with reviewing the outcomes of government programs and initiatives, and acts as a co-ordinating body for the other committees of the legislature.

Norn has been at the centre of a controversy since April, stemming from his decision to visit the legislature during a mandatory 14-day period of isolation following a trip to Alberta.

Before that was first reported by Cabin Radio, Norn had publicly identified himself as one of two COVID-19 cases that resulted in a cluster of new cases in Yellowknife.

While public health officials have not connected that cluster to an ongoing outbreak in the city's schools, they did not rule out the connection, confirming that the first case at the city's N.J. Macpherson School came from exposure to a domestic traveller.

The integrity commissioner is investigating Norn after MLAs voted to submit a complaint that Norn violated the MLAs code of conduct by breaching isolation.