Erin Kelly will lead GNWT’s newly merged ECC department

Erin Kelly will be the deputy minister of the newly merged NWT government Department of Environment and Climate Change from April 1.

Premier Caroline Cochrane announced Kelly’s appointment in a news release on Tuesday. Kelly is currently deputy minister of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, or ENR.

ENR and the Department of Lands will merge in just over a month’s time, a decision first announced last year. The new department’s name was confirmed last week.


The territorial government said Kelly, appointed ENR’s deputy minister in 2020, had “played a key leadership role” in the NWT’s contribution to the establishment of the Thaidene Nëné and Ts’udé Nilįné Tuyeta protected areas, as well as in building partnerships, implementing the NWT’s climate change strategic framework, and negotiating agreements on water, caribou and conservation.

The precise mandate of the new department is not yet clear. It will likely be up to the next government, formed after the fall’s territorial election, to decide whether the department simply retains the goals and policies of Lands and ENR in merged form, or shifts to a distinct and newly defined set of priorities.

Shane Thompson, already the NWT’s environment and lands minister, will be ECC’s minister until the election.