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Premier Cochrane changes some GNWT senior managers


Premier Caroline Cochrane on Thursday announced a range of changes to senior managers of the NWT government's various departments.

Mike Aumond, one of the territory's most powerful bureaucrats in recent years – as secretary to the cabinet and deputy minister of executive and Indigenous affairs – is retiring, a statement issued by the territorial government said.

His replacement will be Martin Goldney, who had been the deputy minister of justice.

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Charlene Doolittle will move into Goldney's old job in January 2020. All other appointments would have immediate effect, the statement said.

Sandy Kalgutkar, made associate deputy minister of infrastructure by former premier Bob McLeod in April, is now the deputy minister of finance and secretary to the financial management board.

Joe Dragon becomes deputy minister of infrastructure – no replacement at environment and natural resources was specified – while Rita Mueller takes on the deputy minister's role for education, culture, and employment.

Sylvia Haener moves from education to lands, which lost deputy minister Willard Hagen to a scandal over one of his Facebook comments two months ago.

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Trista Haugland, a territorial government spokesperson, said the appointment of an acting deputy minister for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources was being finalized and would be announced shortly, "with consideration of a more indeterminate appointment to follow."

A range of other senior posts remain unchanged. Deputy ministers remaining in post are:

  • Eleanor Young at municipal and community affairs;
  • Bruce Cooper at health and social services; and
  • Tom Jensen at industry, tourism, and investment.

Jensen remains scheduled to retire before the end of 2019, Haugland confirmed. She said by email a process is under way to find his replacement.

Tom Weegar will continue as president of Aurora College and associate deputy minister overseeing the transition to a polytechnic university. Tom Williams remains president and chief executive of the NWT Housing Corporation.

The NWT government said David Stewart (formerly deputy minister of finance) and Paul Guy (formerly deputy minister of infrastructure) would leave those posts.

"The Premier thanks David Stewart and Paul Guy for their dedication and service to the people and the Government of the Northwest Territories and wishes them well," a statement read.

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