NWT premier appoints new deputy ministers

Last modified: July 19, 2021 at 2:52pm

Northwest Territories Premier Caroline Cochrane has announced changes to two non-elected heads of territorial government departments.

John MacDonald takes over as deputy minister of the Department of Education, Culture, and Employment this week, replacing Rita Mueller who has left the NWT public service, according to a Monday press release.

MacDonald leaves behind his position as assistant deputy minister of environment and climate change with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.


William MacKay will take over as deputy minister for the Department of Finance in September. He has been deputy minister of executive and Indigenous affairs and secretary to cabinet with the Nunavut government since September 2019.

MacKay will replace Sandy Kalgutkar, who plans to retire.

“I look forward to working with Mr Mackay and Mr MacDonald in their new roles,” Cochrane was quoted as saying.

“Deputy ministers play a critical role in planning and managing how the Government of the Northwest Territories will deliver on the commitments it has made to advance the priorities of the 19th Legislative Assembly and improve the lives of residents in the territory.


“The extensive northern experience that Mr MacKay and Mr MacDonald will bring to their roles will be an invaluable to our government.”

Deputy ministers are appointed by the commissioner in executive council on the advice of the premier. They serve and are accountable to the premier.