Clerk of NWT legislature, at centre of controversy, now on leave

The clerk of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly is on leave, one day after an MLA alleged he had abused his authority and intimidated subordinates for more than a decade.

As first reported by CKLB, deputy clerk Glen Rutland confirmed to Cabin Radio on Tuesday afternoon that Tim Mercer is on leave from the clerk’s office.

Rutland declined to say, however, whether Mercer had been asked to take leave or chose to do so. Rutland would not confirm whether Mercer’s leave was related to recent complaints against the clerk, saying he could not discuss personnel matters. 


On Monday, Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn joined a committee advisor and the territory’s chief electoral officer in coming forward with allegations against Mercer. Norn called for a public, independent investigation and for Mercer to resign. 

Mercer has denied all allegations, calling them a “coordinated attack.” He told Cabin Radio he is willing to be the subject of an independent investigation but would not respond to a “public shaming or media circus.” 

On Monday evening, the legislature’s board of management – which comprises five MLAs – released a statement saying it had recommended mediation between Norn and Mercer, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

The board said it was “determining what next steps to take” regarding complaints against the clerk.