Politics

Thom ‘relieved’ at dismissal of MLA’s Covid-19 complaint


Premier Caroline Cochrane says allegations against health minister Diane Thom – subsequently dismissed by the NWT’s integrity commissioner – have been “a significant distraction” for her government.

Thom was accused by Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson of breaking the MLAs’ code of conduct by spending time with people who were supposed to be self-isolating as the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Jacobson also alleged Cochrane had misled MLAs when she told them no formal complaint about the incident had been filed.

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Cochrane and Thom issued a joint statement late on Friday following the publication of a report that exonerated both.

The integrity commissioner, David Phillip Jones, decided the complaint was driven by political motives and the breakdown of Thom’s marriage.

“It is disappointing that this formal process, meant to uphold the dignity and integrity of the Legislative Assembly and its members, was evidently used for reasons unrelated to our role or work as government,” Premier Cochrane said in her statement.

“The past few months have been difficult ones for my new cabinet and a new government, as the whole territory has had to deal with an unexpected global pandemic that is affecting the territory at all levels.

“I am proud of all the ministers, who have risen to the challenge of Covid-19 and their new roles.”

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Thom said she was “relieved” to hear the complaint had been dismissed.

“I take my role as Minister of Health and Social Services seriously and am committed to doing the best job I can to help protect the health of all residents of the NWT,” she said in the same statement.

“The past few months have been challenging, both on a personal and professional level, and I am now looking forward to focusing on the job I was chosen to do by the voters of Inuvik Boot Lake and the Members of the Legislative Assembly.”

Jacobson did not respond to Cabin Radio’s request for comment.

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