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N.W.T. MLA's postpone vote on public inquiry into wildfires

N.W.T. MLAs voted Friday to postpone a motion for a public inquiry into the territory's wildfire response. The inquiry would establish an independent board of four people to investigate the territorial government's response to the 2023 wildfire season. (Travis Burke/CBC - image credit)
N.W.T. MLAs voted Friday to postpone a motion for a public inquiry into the territory's wildfire response. The inquiry would establish an independent board of four people to investigate the territorial government's response to the 2023 wildfire season. (Travis Burke/CBC - image credit)

N.W.T. MLAs voted Friday to postpone a motion into a public inquiry on the territory's wildfire response.

Kieron Testart, MLA for Range Lake, and Sheryl Yakeleya, MLA for Dehcho, gave notice of the motion for the public inquiry on Tuesday. A news release issued that day said the motion was scheduled to be debated and voted on by the Legislative Assembly on Thursday — this was pushed back a day because of Yakeleya's absence, Testart said.

When Testart read the motion Friday afternoon, Premier R.J Simpson moved to postpone the motion to Feb. 22. Simpson did not provide a reason for the postponement.

With nine voting in favour of the postponement and nine voting not to postpone, speaker Shane Thompson broke the tie.

Thompson said that as speaker his role is to vote "to encourage debate" and voted to postpone the motion until Feb. 22.

The public inquiry will establish an independent board of four people to investigate the territorial government's response to the 2023 wildfire season.

The public inquiry would be in addition to the reviews that two governments are participating in, looking into their handling of the wildfire season