List of premiers of the Northwest Territories

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The Premier of the Northwest Territories is a title given to the head of government in the Northwest Territories of Canada when the territory is using an elected system of responsible government. Throughout its history, the territory has been governed by various combinations of locally elected governments and administrators appointed by the federal government of Canada.

Upon creation, the Northwest Territories were governed by Manitoba's Lieutenant Governor, a representative of the federal government and the Queen of Canada for the newly created province of Manitoba. Six years later in 1876, the territory was given its own Lieutenant Governor, separate from that of Manitoba.[1] These Lieutenant Governors presided over an assembly with members both elected and appointed by the federal government. Before 1888, the territory required electoral districts with an area of 3,000 square kilometres (1,200 sq mi) to contain at least 1,000 people. When this quota was met, a by-election was held to elect a member to replace an appointed one.

The Northwest Territories held its first general elections to a territorial legislative assembly in 1888 when it considered the population to be sufficient.[2] After this election, the Chairman of the assembly's Executive Committee (analogous to a cabinet) assumed the role of head of government.[3] From 1898 to 1905, the chairman used the title "premier", the same title used by the heads of government in the Canadian provinces.[4]

In 1905, the provinces of Saskatchewan and Alberta were created from the most populous regions of the Northwest Territories. With a much lower population, powers of the territory's head of government reverted to a federal and Crown representative appointed by the Prime Minister of Canada, this time with the title "Commissioner of Northwest Territories".[1] Beginning in 1951, and increasingly in 1967, powers were transferred back to an elected assembly. In 1980, the head of this assembly regained the title of premier, and in 1985 the premier became chair of the Executive Council and full head of government.

Because the Northwest Territories has a consensus government, the Premier is elected by and from the members of the Legislative Assembly, and are not divided into parties.[5] This list contains only those government leaders who governed under an elected system of responsible government. For the heads of government before and in between these times, see List of Commissioners of Northwest Territories.

Premiers of the Northwest Territories[edit]

Premier Period Assemblies Elections
See List of lieutenant-governors of Northwest Territories for the heads of government before 1888.
RobertBrett.jpg Robert Brett
(Chairman of the Lt. Governor's Advisory Council)
June 30, 1888
November 7, 1891
1st (NW) Elected June 30, 1888
FrederickWAGHaultain.png Frederick Haultain
(Chairman of the Executive Committee)
November 7, 1891
1897
2nd (NW)
3rd (NW)
Elected November 7, 1891
Re-elected October 31, 1894
1st Frederick Haultain
(Northwest Territories Liberal-Conservative Party)
October 7, 1897
August 24, 1905
4th (NW)
5th (NW)
Re-elected November 4, 1898
Re-elected May 21, 1902
See List of Commissioners of Northwest Territories for the heads of government between 1905 and 1980.
2nd George Braden[N 1] June 16, 1980
January 12, 1984
... Designated June 16, 1980
3rd Richard Nerysoo[N 1] January 12, 1984
November 5, 1985
10th
...
Elected November 21, 1983
Resigned November 5, 1985
Nick Sibbeston.jpg 4th Nick Sibbeston[N 1] November 5, 1985
November 12, 1987
... Designated November 5, 1985
5th Dennis Patterson[N 1] November 12, 1987
November 14, 1991
11th Elected October 5, 1987
Nellie Cournoyea.jpg 6th Nellie Cournoyea[N 1] November 14, 1991
November 22, 1995
12th Elected October 15, 1991
7th Don Morin November 22, 1995
November 26, 1998
13th
...
Elected October 16, 1995
Resigned November 26, 1998
Acting Goo Arlooktoo November 26, 1998
December 10, 1998
... Appointed acting Premier[6]
8th Jim Antoine December 10, 1998
January 17, 2000
...
14th
...
December 10, 1998
Re-elected February 15, 1999
Resigned January 17, 2000
9th Stephen Kakfwi January 17, 2000
December 10, 2003
... Designated January 17, 2000
Premier Joe Handley of NWT.jpg 10th Joe Handley December 10, 2003
October 19, 2007
15th Elected November 24, 2003
Premier Roland.jpg 11th Floyd Roland October 19, 2007
October 26, 2011
16th Elected October 1, 2007
12th Bob McLeod October 26, 2011
present
17th Elected October 3, 2011

Living former premiers[edit]

As of January 2014, ten former premiers are alive, the oldest being Nellie Cournoyea (1991–1995, born 1940).

Name Term Date of birth
George Braden 1980–1984 (1949-11-04) November 4, 1949 (age 64)
Richard Nerysoo 1984–1985 1953 (age 60–61)
Nick Sibbeston 1985–1987 (1943-11-21) November 21, 1943 (age 70)
Dennis Patterson 1987–1991 (1948-12-30) December 30, 1948 (age 65)
Nellie Cournoyea 1991–1995 (1940-03-04) March 4, 1940 (age 74)
Don Morin 1995–1998 1954 (age 59–60)
Jim Antoine 1998–2000 1948/1949 (age 64–65)
Stephen Kakfwi 2000–2003 (1950-11-07) November 7, 1950 (age 63)
Joe Handley 2003–2007 (1943-08-09) August 9, 1943 (age 70)
Floyd Roland 2007–2011 (1961-11-23) November 23, 1961 (age 52)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Before 1994, the position was officially known as Government Leader; however, the territory has retroactively applied the title of Premier.

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ a b "The Northwest Territories". Library and Archives Canada. May 2, 2005. Archived from the original on June 21, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  2. ^ Thomas, Lewis Herbert (1978). The Struggle for Responsible Government in the North-West Territories, 1870-97. University of Toronto Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-8020-2287-5. 
  3. ^ "The Honourable Dr. Robert G. Brett, 1915-25". Legislative Assembly of Alberta. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  4. ^ "The North-West Territories (1870–1905)" (PDF). Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved November 10, 2008. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Election of the Speaker, Premier, and Ministers". Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  6. ^ "New premier on horizon". NNSL. November 30, 1998. 

External links[edit]