Norn committee chair removal prompts shuffle at legislature

Steve Norn’s removal as head of a government oversight committee has led to several MLAs switching their roles, the NWT legislature announced on Wednesday.

Norn, the MLA for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh, was previously chair of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight – a body of all 11 regular MLAs that scrutinizes major projects and decisions taken by cabinet.

He was removed from that position after fellow MLAs referred him to the territory’s integrity commissioner regarding a breach of NWT pandemic isolation rules in April.


Frame Lake MLA Kevin O’Reilly has now been confirmed as the new chair of that committee. He had previously been Norn’s deputy on the committee and had been the interim chair after Norn’s removal.

O’Reilly’s selection to fill the position created vacancies elsewhere.

Lesa Semmler, the Inuvik Twin Lakes MLA, is O’Reilly’s new deputy on the accountability and oversight committee.

Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson replaces O’Reilly as chair of the Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures. Great Slave MLA Katrina Nokleby replaces Semmler as deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Social Development.

The legislature is coming to the end of a week-long summer sitting. Norn has yet to speak during the sitting and is understood not to have attended over the past week.