Bob McLeod will serve an unprecedented second term as NWT Premier, after being re-elected by MLAs early Wednesday afternoon.
All 19 MLAs, including Speaker Jackson Lafferty, voted in secret at the legislature. The vote came after more than two hours of questions from members. The final tally was not disclosed.
Last Wednesday, members of the 18th Assembly heard speeches from McLeod and Great Slave MLA Glen Abernethy on why they felt they were best suited for the job.
MLAs then had a week to get feedback from constituents before casting their vote Wednesday.
“This will be an assembly of change and better government,” said McLeod, shortly after his victory was announced.
“A clear message that I heard from voters during the election campaign is that they want to see positive change in territorial politics.
“They want to see a government that is more transparent and open to input from the public on priorities and decisions.
“It is incumbent upon us all … to give the people of this territory the kind of government they want and deserve.”
Born and raised in Fort Providence, McLeod has represented Yellowknife South constituents since 2007.
In addition to serving as premier during the 17th Assembly, McLeod was also the minister responsible for women, minister responsible for new energy initiatives and minister of aboriginal affairs and intergovernmental relations.
Last week, McLeod told MLAs that he wanted to be an agent of change, and says his re-election in Yellowknife South is an indication that he’s part of the territory’s solution moving forward.
“I can deal with very difficult issues and we have some very difficult issues to deal with in this 18th Assembly.
“We need to work more as a consensus government where we all pull together, get in the same canoe and start paddling in the same direction.”
Speaking to Moose FM shortly after the results were announced, Abernethy said McLeod has his full support.
“Of course winning would have been better, but you know what, the people have spoken,” he said.
“The MLAs have spoken, they want to support Bob, I support Bob. I’m looking forward to working with him over the next four years.
“He’s a great man. He’s done many things for this territory over the years and he’s still got energy and passion.”
Fresh faces, experienced leaders round out McLeod’s cabinet
Later on Wednesday, six MLAs were recommended for cabinet positions. They include Robert C. McLeod, Alfred Moses, Wally Schumann, Louis Sebert, Glen Abernethy and Caroline Cochrane.
Formal motions to ratify the selections will be brought forward on Thursday afternoon with cabinet portfolios to be chosen by the premier at a later date.
McLeod and Abernethy are the only two members to have sat on cabinet before, with both holding portfolios during the 17th Assembly.
The other four are either first time MLAs or new to the executive council.
Altogether, 11 people put their names forward for a position on cabinet. Two members were chosen from the north, two from the south and two from Yellowknife.
The speaker, premier and cabinet will all be sworn in Thursday at the legislature.