Which N.W.T. MLA's constituency office costs $3,400 a month?

Offices for N.W.T. MLAs representing constituencies outside of Yellowknife cost between $1,400 and $3,422 a month, according to documents posted online in recent months and shared with CBC News by the legislative assembly.

Costs of constituency offices range widely, and the northernmost aren't always more expensive

Leases for constituency offices for MLAs representing districts outside of Yellowknife are paid by the legislative assembly but need to be approved first by the board of management. (Randall McKenzie/CBC)

Offices for MLAs representing Northwest Territories constituencies outside of Yellowknife cost between $1,400 and $3,422 a month, according to documents posted online in recent months and shared with CBC News by the legislative assembly. 

Today the board of management — a group of MLAs that manages the affairs of the legislative assembly — will hold a public meeting to decide whether to approve the latest such lease.

Leases are paid by the legislative assembly but need to be approved first by the board. The lease must cover the cost of parking, alarm systems, janitorial services, utilities, security and telephone lines. 

Thebacha MLA Lou Sebert wants to set up a 30-square-metre constituency office in the McDougal Centre Office complex in Fort Smith, at a negotiated cost of $10,500 a year, or $875 a month. Other offices in the same building he considered would cost $900, $1,100 and $1,300 a month.

"[Sebert] indicated the office he wishes to lease is in the best location for accessibility for his constituents," according to an attachment to today's meeting agenda. The attachment was not posted online with the agenda but was sent by request to CBC News. 

How Sebert's lease would stack up 

If approved, the lease for Sebert's office would be cheaper than those for other MLA offices.

Here's a summary of the monthly cost of other offices. It does not always follow the expected pattern of the more northerly the office, the costlier the lease.

  • Herb Nakimayak, Nunakput, $1,400, leased from the Paulatuk Visitors Centre Corporation
  • Wally Schumann, Hay River South, $1,625, Godwin Stores (lease was originally held by previous MLA Jane Groenewegen)
  • Rocky Simpson, Hay River North, $1,700, Hay River Mobile Home Park
  • Alfred Moses, Inuvik Boot Lake, $2,050, Mackenzie Delta Hotel Group
  • Shane Thompson, Nahendeh, $3,094, Nahendeh Development Ltd. (Fort Simpson)
  • Robert C. McLeod, Inuvik Twin Lakes, $3,422, Inuvialuit Development Corporation

At $875 a month, Sebert would also be paying less than the Thebacha MLA who preceded him. Michael Miltenberger, who was also the minister of Finance, leased a 35-square-metre space from the Fort Smith Hunters and Trappers Association for $1,000 a month.

The board of management is meeting today at 5:30 p.m. in Committee Room A of the legislative assembly to discuss Sebert's proposal. 

The profile pages for MLAs representing constituencies outside of Yellowknife do not currently list the locations of their constituency offices. 

MLAs representing constituencies in Yellowknife don't get a second office beyond the one provided for them in the legislative assembly building.