The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly has picked Justice Ronald L. Barclay as the adjudicator to investigate the complaint against Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn.
Barclay is a retired judge from Saskatchewan, who recently served 10 years as the Conflict of Interest Commissioner for that province.
“Barclay has experience conducting these types of inquiries and was selected from a list of people approved as Adjudicators by the Assembly,” a spokesperson for the Legislative Assembly said in a statement.
Barclay is being appointed after David Phillip Jones, the Legislative Assembly’s Integrity Commissioner recommended that an independent adjudicator be appointed.
Barclay will investigate the complaint further, decide whether a hearing should be held privately or in public and will ultimately make a recommendation about whether Norn should be not punished, fined or removed from office.
In his report to the Speaker, Jones said 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 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.