Nick Sibbeston

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The Honourable
Nick G. Sibbeston
Nick Sibbeston.jpg
Senator for Northwest Territories
In office
September 2, 1999 – November 21, 2017
Nominated by Jean Chrétien
Appointed by Roméo LeBlanc
4th Premier of the Northwest Territories
In office
November 5, 1985 – November 12, 1987
Commissioner John Havelock Parker
Preceded by Richard Nerysoo
Succeeded by Dennis Patterson
MLA for Mackenzie-Laird
In office
December 21, 1970 – March 10, 1975
Preceded by first member
Succeeded by William Lafferty
In office
October 1, 1979 – November 21, 1983
Preceded by William Lafferty
Succeeded by district abolished
MLA for Deh Cho Gah
In office
November 21, 1983 – October 5, 1987
Preceded by first member
Succeeded by district abolished
MLA for Nahendeh
In office
October 5, 1987 – October 15, 1991
Preceded by first member
Succeeded by Jim Antoine
Personal details
Born (1943-11-21) November 21, 1943 (age 74)
Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories
Nationality Canadian
Political party Non-affiliated
Other political
affiliations
Liberal (until 2014)
Independent Liberal
(2014-2016)
Spouse(s) Karen Sibbeston
Alma mater University of Alberta
Occupation Lawyer
Profession politician

Nick G. Sibbeston (born November 21, 1943)[1] is a retired Canadian Senator representing the Northwest Territories. He was nominated to the Senate by Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien in 1999 and sat until 2017, when he resigned on his 74th birthday, a year prior to reaching the mandatory retirement age. Prior to that, he was Premier of the Northwest Territories from 1985 to 1987. He was also a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Northwest Territories representing Mackenzie-Laird from 1970 to 1975 and from 1979 until 1991.

Early life and career[edit]

Sibbeston is from Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories.[2] Considered a residential school survivor,[3] he attended residential schools in Fort Simpson, Providence, Inuvik, and Yellowknife, and the University of Alberta where he graduated with Bachelor of Arts and Law degrees.

Territorial politics[edit]

In 1970, Sibbeston was elected to a four-year term on the North West Territorial Council until he was defeated by William Lafferty in the 1975 Northwest Territories general election.

He was re-elected in the 1979 Northwest Territories general election and would continue to be an MLA until 1991.[2] During his second term in the Legislative Assembly, Sibbeston was elected to serve in the Executive Council.

In a 1981 incident, Sibbeston was thrown out of the territorial legislature for throwing a cup of coffee at Peter Fraser, the speaker of the legislature, during an intense debate.[2]

He would serve six years in Cabinet until he was elected to serve as the fourth Premier of the Northwest Territories from 1985 until 1987.

Civil servant[edit]

After 1991, Sibbeston worked briefly for the Government of Northwest Territories. as justice specialist and as a public administrator for Deh Cho Health & Social Services. He served four years on the Canadian Human Rights Panel/Tribunal. He also served as cultural and Slavey language advisor for the television program North of 60.

Federal politics[edit]

Sibbeston was appointed to the Senate on September 2, 1999 on the advice of Liberal prime minister Jean Chrétien.[3] In the Senate, one of his goals has been to find a new name for the Northwest Territories to better reflect his jurisdiction's geography and people.[citation needed] He also focused on issues such as the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline, infrastructure in the North, climate change mitigation, and increasing Indigenous engagement in the economy.[3]

On January 29, 2014, Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau announced all Liberal Senators, including Sibbeston, were removed from the Liberal caucus, and would continue sitting as Independents.[4] According to Senate Opposition leader James Cowan, the Senators will still refer to themselves as Liberals even if they are no longer members of the parliamentary Liberal caucus.[5] Sibbeston agreed with Trudeau's decision, saying that the Northwest Territories also did not have a party system.[2] In the same month, Sibbeston defended missing 51 out of 70 votes in the previous parliamentary session on the nastiness of partisan party politics in Ottawa, which he was not used to in the North.[2]

On May 5, 2016, Sibbeston left the Senate Liberal caucus to sit as an Independent Senator.[6]

In September 2017, Sibbeston announced that he would resign on November 21, 2017, his 74th birthday. Sibbeston said that he would focus on his family, travel, and spirituality as well as translating Catholic liturgy into the Dene language.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Biography
  2. ^ a b c d e "Nick Sibbeston blames 'party politics' for low attendance". CBC News. January 31, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d "N.W.T. Senator Nick Sibbeston resigns". CBC News. September 21, 2017. Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  4. ^ Cudmore, James (January 29, 2014). "Liberal leader says senators not welcome in caucus". CBC News. Retrieved September 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Trudeau's expulsion catches Liberal senators by surprise". Globe and Mail. January 29, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  6. ^ "SenateSeatingPlan" (PDF). May 5, 2016. Retrieved May 6, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories
Preceded by
New District
MLA for Mackenzie-Laird
1970–1975
Succeeded by
William Lafferty
Preceded by
William Lafferty
MLA for Mackenzie-Laird
1979–1983
Succeeded by
District Abolished
Preceded by
New District
MLA for Deh Cho Gah
1983–1987
Succeeded by
District Abolished
Preceded by
New District
MLA Nahendeh
1987–1991
Succeeded by
Jim Antoine
Preceded by
Richard Nerysoo
Premier of the Northwest Territories
1985–1987
Succeeded by
Dennis Patterson
Parliament of Canada
Preceded by
Willie Adams
Senator for Northwest Territories
1999–2017
Succeeded by
TBA