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Caroline Cochrane was voted premier of the Northwest Territories Thursday.

“Together we make a stronger government,” the Range Lake MLA said. “We will make this next four years the most progressive in the NWT.”

Cochrane’s selection by her fellow MLAs followed rounds of voting that saw Thebacha MLA Freida Martselos dropped in the first round and Hay River North MLA R.J. Simpson dropped after the second.

Earlier in the day, Frederick Blake Jr. of the Mackenzie Delta was acclaimed as the new speaker of the Legislative Assembly Thursday.

Frederick Blake Jr. was acclaimed to the speakership on Thursday morning. Nick Pearce / NNSL Photo

As the only member to put his name forward for the position, Blake promised to engage with smaller communities to share the value of the consensus government.

As Speaker, he told Yellowknifer he aims to travel more to the communities and visit schools to educate youth on consensus government. While suggestions of party politics may emerge occasionally after a election, he said “it’s pretty that this is the best style of government for the Northwest Territories. And we need to encourage that.”

“Everyone has a voice in this legislature,” Blake said. ”It’s not like parties where you have to tow the line.”

He said this leaves members better situated to represent their constituents and he hopes to support this. Reflecting broader sentiment among new and returning MLAs hoping to build more constructive relationships with their colleagues. Blake said his “door was always open. Any way I can support our members and work well with them.”

The Assembly will also be selecting the premier and cabinet today.

More to come.

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Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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