Joe Dragon leaves GNWT following his minister’s removal

Deputy minister of infrastructure Joe Dragon has left the territorial government, the GNWT confirmed in a statement on Friday.

Dragon had been considering his position for weeks following significant disagreements with former infrastructure minister Katrina Nokleby.

The territory said the effective date of his departure would be backdated to July 28.


The deteriorating relationship between Dragon and Nokleby is understood to have been one factor, among several, behind Nokleby’s removal from the infrastructure portfolio at the behest of Premier Caroline Cochrane in August.

Dragon was granted time away from his post by the NWT government to consider whether he wished to remain.

Ultimately, Cochrane announced his departure.

“Joe’s high level of integrity – and his ability to effectively mobilize, develop, and lead employees – has positioned the organization and its employees to successfully transition into the future,” said Cochrane in a statement on Friday.

The premier had, by contrast, described Nokleby as an unprofessional minister prone to “continual tantrums” as she departed cabinet. (Nokleby has disputed those allegations.)


Steve Loutitt continues as acting deputy minister while a plan is developed to find Dragon’s successor.

Dragon had been in the role since November 2019, moving across from the same position at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.