Integrity Commissioner calls for outside adjudicator to investigate Steve Norn

A headshot of Norn. (Supplied by Steve Norn.)
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The Integrity Commissioner is calling for an outside adjudicator to give the verdict on the complaint filed against Steve Norn.

David Phillip Jones, the Legislative Assembly’s Integrity Commissioner said in a report that there was no evidence that Norn acted in bad faith but said the complaint could not be dismissed because Norn breaking self-isolation was “not a trivial or minor matter.”

The complaint to the Integrity Commissioner was submitted by Yellowknife North MLA Rylund Johnson back in May, after the Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA had admitted publicly to being the confirmed COVID-19 case in Yellowknife earlier in April, and was later found to have broken his self-isolation. 

Norn had been isolating after travelling outside of the NWT.

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Norn left the territory to attend to a non-COVID-19 related family emergency in Grande Prairie on April 1 and said in his self-isolation plan he would be returning on April 5.

Norn returned to the NWT a day earlier than expected, so he ended his isolation period a day earlier than his isolation plan specified.

“Norn erroneously but honestly believed that the day he returned to NWT (April 4) would be included in the 14-day self-isolation period,” Jones said in his report.

Jones added that there is no evidence that anyone contracted COVID-19 as a result of Norn

“ending his isolation mere hours before the date set out in his isolation plan”.

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The Integrity Commissioner submitted his report to the Speaker, which called on an independent, outside adjudicator to be appointed.

The report will have to be tabled in front of the Legislative Assembly in October. In the meantime, an adjudicator will be appointed to further investigate the complaint against Norn.

After the adjudicator has held a hearing — either publicly or privately — they will make a decision on whether the complaint should be dismissed or if Norn should be disciplined.

Norn is also facing criminal charges for breaking his self-isolation. He could be fined around $1,700, as he faces two charges of violating the Northwest Territories’ Public Health Act for breaking his self-isolation in April.

According to a report from Cabin Radio, Norn was not present at his court date and is hiring an Edmonton based lawyer to handle his case.

He was removed as chair of the Legislative Assembly’s oversight committee in May, and is currently being investigated by the Integrity Commissioner.

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