Nokleby accuses Thompson of ‘derogatory’ comments in legislature

Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby on Tuesday asked NWT minister Shane Thompson to apologize for what she said were “derogatory and offensive” comments.

Nokleby and Thompson, the municipal and community affairs minister, traded remarks during a discussion of funding for municipalities in the territorial legislature.

Nokleby had asked how Thompson planned to address a gap in funding – first identified almost a decade ago – in which municipalities say the costs they must collectively bear exceed territorial funding by more than $40 million.


Using the ongoing municipal strike in Yellowknife as an example, Nokleby said: “This morning I dropped off coats at our solid waste facility to people who are striking because their community can’t afford to pay them properly.”

Thompson, in return, said Nokleby helping out picketing workers was “awesome” before stating that communities needed to work with finance minister Caroline Wawzonek.

Nokleby then accused the minister of “passing off responsibility” to his cabinet colleague, saying she found his answer “quite disturbing.”

Beginning a response, Thompson said: “I appreciate the member’s love. I’ve received it in this House numerous times from this member and I greatly appreciate it. I thank you very much for that.”

At that point, Nokleby rose on a point of order.


She told Speaker of the House Frederick Blake Jr: “The minister’s comments to me are derogatory and offensive. It is not said with any sort of actual respect toward me on this side.”

She asked for Thompson to withdraw his remarks and apologize.

Blake said he would wait to check the transcript of the day’s remarks when it is made available, usually the following morning, “and we’ll deal with this another day.”

The day’s legislative agenda then moved on to questions from other MLAs.