Two weeks ago I spoke with then-Infrastructure Minister Katrina Nokleby, who told me she was trying to find some money in the budget to get some much-needed repair work done on the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Highway before the damage contributes to a collision.
Now that Nokleby has been relieved of her duties by Premier Caroline Cochrane, is said work still being planned? Has it been done? Will it be done?
We don’t know that yet. Nor do we know what our MLAs, who just spent the summer bringing Nokleby across the region so she could see the source of their concerns herself, feel about this sudden change.
It’s not for lack of trying. Nunakput MLA Jackie Jacobson initially agreed to talk to me, but now appears to have fallen off the map. Questions about if and how this decision best serves the Beaufort and Mackenzie Deltas sent to Inuvik-Twin Lakes MLA Lesa Semmler await a response.
When I spoke to Nokleby, she suggested if I didn’t hear back from the GNWT about the progress on Mike Zubko Airport, a story I was working on at the time, I should reach out to her and she could potentially shake the information out from the top.
This is in stark contrast to my experience with just about every other MLA I’ve spoken to. Right now if you want to get any information from the GNWT, you get friendly reminders not to email cabinet ministers directly, then go through an obstacle course of emails to get simple questions answered.
Using the airport example, I first emailed the GNWT, Department of Defense and NORAD about an update July 15. Both NORAD and the DoD got back to me within a week, but getting the information I needed from the GNWT took nearly a month.
Let that sink in. It was easier to get information out of a top level security military base buried within a mountain in Colorado than Yellowknife.
Hopefully some answers will bubble up to the deltas when the legislature resumes sitting in the capital at 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon in order to name Nokleby’s replacement.
Until then, residents of the region such as the few I’ve collected reactions from will be in the dark.
We asked you: “What do you think about the removal of Katrina Nokleby from her cabinet portfolios?”