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No NWT ombudsman for the foreseeable future

The Northwest Territories won’t be getting an ombudsman any time soon.

A number of MLAs, backed by Ontario ombudsman Andre Marin, had been pushing for the territory to establish an office with the power to independently investigate complaints against public agencies.

However, the territorial government – in a response tabled on Wednesday – said the necessary legislation “would require significant time and resources to develop” and could not be achieved during the current assembly’s remaining months, prior to this fall’s territorial election.

“Moreover, there would also be significant challenges in identifying $400,000 to $600,000 for the ongoing annual funding of the ombudsman office,” added the government in its response, “particularly since this was not originally identified as a priority of the 17th legislative assembly.”

Instead, the concept of an ombudsman’s office will be examined again by the new government, after the election.

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