New legislation being brought forward by the NWT government will fix a discrepancy in election timings for Yellowknife school boards.
In 2018, the City of Yellowknife moved from three-year to four-year terms for its mayor and council. However, existing NWT legislation does not allow the city’s school boards to do the same.
A bill amending that legislation will allow district education authorities to move to four-year terms where required to resynchronize with their municipality, thereby cutting down on the logistics and resources required to hold entirely separate elections.
The draft text of that bill was examined by MLAs at a committee meeting on Monday.
Education minister RJ Simpson said interim elections this fall, for one-year terms, would allow Yellowknife Catholic Schools and the YK1 school district to realign with the City of Yellowknife when it holds its next municipal election in 2022.
The change also affects the territory’s francophone school board, La Commission scolaire francophone des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, which operates schools in both Yellowknife and Hay River.
Regulations specific to that school board will be amended to ensure it can “maintain term lengths that align” with each municipal government, Simpson said. He faced criticism from Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly that the francophone school board had been inadequately consulted.