Advertisement

N.W.T. integrity watchdog dismisses 2 complaints against former MLAs

Paulie Chinna, left, and Katrina Nokleby were both N.W.T. MLAs when members of the public filed complaints against them. Those complaints have now been dismissed by the territory's integrity commissioner.  (CBC - image credit)
Paulie Chinna, left, and Katrina Nokleby were both N.W.T. MLAs when members of the public filed complaints against them. Those complaints have now been dismissed by the territory's integrity commissioner. (CBC - image credit)

The N.W.T.'s integrity commissioner has dismissed two complaints, against former MLAs Katrina Nokleby and Paulie Chinna.

In separate decisions on Tuesday, integrity commissioner David Phillip Jones wrote that, since neither Nokleby nor Chinna was re-elected to the Legislative Assembly last fall, there would be "no practical purpose" in pursuing the complaints. He also found one of the complaints to be "frivolous and vexatious."

Both complaints involved allegations that the former MLAs had breached their code of conduct during separate interactions with members of the public.

In his decisions, Jones wrote that members aren't necessarily absolved of obligations under the code of conduct just because they weren't re-elected.

"In other circumstances, an inquiry might well be appropriate," Jones wrote.

The complaint against Chinna, who was the Sahtu MLA at the time, dates to Aug. 10. Arnold Manuel alleged that she made "rude" statements to him when they were at the Inuvik airport café.

The complaint against Nokleby, who was the Great Slave MLA at the time, dates to Oct. 1 and alleges she made "rude and abusive" statements to Nancy Vail, who was camping on a vacant lot across from Nokleby's house.

Jones also found that this complaint from Vail was "frivolous and vexatious, and not made in good faith." He pointed to Vail's "long-time public critique" of Nokleby, and Vail's various efforts to publicize this particular complaint, including taking it to the RCMP, the then-Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, and the media.

In both decisions, while acknowledging the high standards set out in the MLA code of conduct, Jones wrote that the code isn't supposed to be used for personal vendettas against members, "who are human, not required to be perfect, and do not deserve to be criticized for the woof and warp of everyday life."