September 26, 2009

Legislative Assembly Members Pleased with Move to More Public Meetings

(Yellowknife, NT) September 26, 2009 – The Standing Committees of the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories are pleased with the initial results of their recent decision to conduct more briefings and meetings in public. 

Standing Committees, in any parliamentary system, provide an opportunity for more focused and detailed review of legislative work in order to inform debate on the floor of the House. In the consensus government system, Standing Committees play a very significant role. Standing Committees are responsible for holding the government accountable on all issues. 

“It is in the interest of openness and transparency that as many of these meetings as possible be open to the public as much of the work in the legislature gets done during Standing Committee meetings. The Assembly delegates most of the detailed study of proposed legislation and the scrutiny of government policy and programs to its committees,” says Jane Groenewegen, Chair of the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning and MLA for Hay River South. 

At a recent Caucus meeting, the Members of the Legislative Assembly agreed to open up as many Standing Committee meetings to the public as possible without compromising effective communication between Cabinet and the Standing Committees. 

Tom Beaulieu, Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning and MLA for Tu Nedhe says, “the Chairs of the Standing Committees look forward to involving the public as much as possible in their future processes. We are also looking into the possibility of making these meetings available on our Legislative Assembly Television Network, which would give even more people across the NWT access to these meetings.” 

For more information, please contact: 

Jennifer Knowlan, Principal Clerk of Committees 
Legislative Assembly of the NWT 
Phone: 867-669-2241 
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0784 

Jane Groenewegen, Chair of Standing Committee on Priorities and Planning and MLA Hay River South
Phone: 867-669-2292
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0784