Commissioner of the Northwest Territories

The Commissioner of the Northwest Territories (French: Commissaire des Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is the Government of Canada's representative in the Northwest Territories. Similar in certain functions to a lieutenant governor, the commissioner swears in the members of the legislative assembly, swears in members of the executive council, assents to bills, opens sessions of the legislative assembly, and signs other government documents such as Orders in Council.

Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
Commissaire des Territoires
du Nord-Ouest
Badge of the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
Flag of the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories
Margaret Thom

since 18 September 2017
Formation24 August 1905
First holderFrederick D. White

Earlier commissioners were mostly deputy ministers in various ministries (Minister of the Interior, Mines, Mines and Resources).

As commissioners are appointed by the Government of Canada, they are not a vice-regal representative in the territory—that is, unlike in Canada's provinces, there is no such thing as a "territorial Crown" analogous to the provincial Crowns. The commissioner represents the federal government and must follow any instructions of the Cabinet or the relevant federal minister, currently the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs.

Since 1980, the territories have had self-government, with the legislature choosing a government leader or premier, in addition to electing members of parliament to the Parliament of Canada.

Commissioners of the NWT

From To Name
24 August 1905 27 September 1918 Frederick D. White
27 September 1918 31 March 1931 William Wallace Cory
31 March 1931 1 May 1934 Hugh H. Rowatt
1 May 1934 3 December 1936 vacant (Roy A. Gibson acting)
3 December 1936 14 January 1947 Charles Camsell
14 January 1947 14 November 1950 Hugh Llewellyn Keenleyside
14 November 1950 15 November 1953 Hugh Andrew Young
15 November 1953 12 July 1963 Robert Gordon Robertson
12 July 1963 2 March 1967 Bent Gestur Sivertz
2 March 1967 15 April 1979 Stuart Milton Hodgson
15 April 1979 2 October 1989 John Havelock Parker
2 October 1989 16 January 1995 Daniel L. Norris
16 January 1995 26 March 1999 Helen Maksagak
26 March 1999 31 March 2000 Daniel Joseph Marion
31 March 2000 7 April 2005 Glenna Hansen
29 April 2005 28 May 2010 Tony Whitford
28 May 2010 10 May 2016[1] George Tuccaro
10 May 2016 18 September 2017 vacant (Gerald W. Kisoun acting)
18 September 2017 present Margaret M. Thom

Living former commissioners

Deputy commissioners

On 24 October 2011 Gerald W. Kisoun was appointed Deputy Commissioner and his term was originally for three years. It was extended for a second three years and is due to expire 10 December 2017.

See also


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