North

Yellowknife files electoral boundaries lawsuit against N.W.T.

On Monday, seven residents officially joined the city in filing an N.W.T. Supreme Court lawsuit against the territorial government. The case revolves around what the city has said is an under-representation of Yellowknife in the legislative assembly.

7 residents joined the city in filing the suit on Monday

On Monday, seven residents officially joined the City of Yellowknife in filing an N.W.T. Supreme Court lawsuit against the territorial government about the territory's electoral boundaries. (Chantal Dubuc/CBC)

The City of Yellowknife has some allies in its fight with the N.W.T. government about electoral boundaries.

On Monday seven residents officially joined the city in filing an N.W.T. Supreme Court lawsuit against the territorial government.

The city believes Yellowknife, which accounted for around 46 per cent of the territory's population last year, according to the N.W.T. Bureau of Statistics, is under-represented in the legislative assembly. The city has 7 out of 19 seats.

The suit itself is not new — the city had telegraphed its legal intentions back in April — but the involvement of private citizens is.

The construction-heavy group includes Bob Doherty, the president of Fire Prevention Services and a former president of the N.W.T. Construction Association; Eric Sputek, the president of Hovat Construction; and David Wind, a former Yellowknife city councillor.

Also among the group is Bill Aho, the owner of Central Mechanical Systems. Aho was a member of Friends of Democracy, which fought successfully in 1999 to have the number of Yellowknife seats raised to seven from five. Aho declined to speak about the new lawsuit.

Consultant David Connelly, another member of the group, said the inclusion of individual residents was thought to give added weight to the city's concern.

A hearing date for the case hasn't been set yet. The next territorial election is on Nov. 26.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said the City of Yellowknife was seeking more MLAs to represent Yellowknife. In fact, the city says it is seeking "equal and effective representation for all citizens."
    Jun 30, 2015 11:38 PM CT

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