Glen Abernethy has served as the Member for Great Slave since his election to the 16th Legislative Assembly on October 1, 2007. He is a life-long NWT resident and was born in Frobisher Bay, now known as Iqaluit in Nunavut.
Shortly after being re-elected on October 3, 2011, Mr. Abernethy was selected as a member of the Executive Council for the 17th Legislative Assembly and is currently the Minister of Justice, Public Works and Services, Human Resources, and Minister Responsible for the Public Utilities Board. In these roles, he is carrying out the goals of the 17th Legislative Assembly: sustainable, vibrant, safe communities and effective and efficient government. In addition to these portfolios, Mr. Abernethy is the Chair of the Ministerial Social Envelope Committee, which has been tasked with the development of an Anti-Poverty Strategy for the NWT.
As a member of the 16th Legislative Assembly, Mr. Abernethy was Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Social Programs and played a lead role in that Committee’s comprehensive review of the Child and Family Services Act. In addition, Mr. Abernethy chaired Committee of the Whole and was a member of the Standing Committee on Government Operations and the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning.
Before his election, Mr. Abernethy worked in human resources for the GNWT, where he was responsible for recruitment and retention of health professionals including nurses, doctors, social workers and all other allied health professionals employed in the NWT. He is particularly proud of his work on the Community Health Nurse Development Program, which continues to help northern nurses obtain the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to work safely and competently in community health centers.
Mr. Abernethy, an avid guitar and bass player, is a familiar face in Yellowknife’s music scene. His band, The Committed, has performed in a number of venues including Yellowknife’s Folk On the Rocks music festival in 2011. Mr. Abernethy served as the President of Folk On the Rocks for 3 years. He is also an avid sailor and has been very active in the Great Slave Cruising Club. He has won every race currently sponsored by the club with the exception of the Commissioner’s Cup (he’s come a close second), which he hopes to win in the future.
Mr. Abernethy and his wife Carolyn Smith live in one of the oldest houses in the community, constructed in 1939-40 at the height of the Yellowknife Gold Rush. It was originally the Negus Point mine manager’s house, moved to its current location overlooking Great Slave Lake in 1951. Mr. Abernethy purchased the home in 2001 and restored it to its original condition and appearance, and it continues to be part of the City of Yellowknife’s historic walk.