YKDFN calls for removal of MLA Steve Norn

A headshot of Norn. (Supplied by Steve Norn.)
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The Yellowknives Dene First Nation have called for the removal of Steve Norn as an MLA after he broke his self-isolation.

Chief executive officer for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation Jason Snaggs confirmed YKDFN had sent a letter to the GNWT prior to the caucus meeting today, calling for Norn’s removal from office.

MLAs have filed a complaint to the integrity commissioner against Norn, after he revealed he had broken his self-isolation.

MLAs met on Tuesday as a caucus and voted to submit the complaint to the Integrity Commision, headed by the Integrity Commissioner.

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The Integrity Commissioner is an independent officer appointed by the Legislative Assembly, who advises MLAs about conflict of interests and ensures they follow the Code of Conduct set out for MLAs.

Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh MLA Norn chose to identify himself as the positive April 21st COVID test result in Yellowknife. Reports later found he had broken his self-isolation, prompting a contact tracing investigation by the Chief Public Health Officer.

It is not clear if there is a connection between the outbreak at N.J. Macpherson and Norn.

Removal of an MLA

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There are a number of ways an MLA can be removed from office, according to Legislative Assembly spokesperson Nicole Bonnell.

One of the ways is by submitting a complaint to the Integrity Commissioner. After an investigation, an independent adjudicator determines what the punishment can be. It could range from a fine to removal from office.

MLAs could vote on a motion to remove a member.

“This is an exceptional and rarely used power,” Bonnell said in an email.

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The third way is if an MLA had committed a crime or was detained in a correctional institution, which would make them ineligible to serve as an MLA.

An investigation will take place to see if Norn violated the MLAs code of conduct, with a final report presented to the speaker of the Legislative Assembly.

Correction: A previous version of this story compared MLAs voting on a motion to remove a member to when MLA Katrina Nokleby was removed from cabinet. Nokleby’s removal was done through a different type of motion.

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