Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Announces Retirement

Clerk of the Legislative Assembly Announces Retirement

YELLOWKNIFE (November 10, 2022) – The Clerk of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, Tim Mercer, today advised the Speaker of his intention to retire on March 31, 2023.

Appointed in 2003, Mr. Mercer served as Clerk during the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th legislative assemblies and coordinated five transitions of government. “Tim has been an invaluable source of expertise and advice during his two decades as Clerk,” stated Speaker Frederick Blake. “His greatest contribution was his ability to understand and explain complex procedural and governance issues and provide options to Members that were acceptable to both sides of the House, and effective.” During the 16th Legislative Assembly, he drafted and proposed a set of principles and process conventions that continue to guide how consensus government functions. He played a key supporting role in helping achieve the 18th Legislative Assembly’s priority of increasing the representation of women in the House and led the drafting and implementation of a binding and enforceable MLA Code of Conduct, one of the first of its kind in Canada.

More recently, Mr. Mercer coordinated the Legislative Assembly’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He successfully implemented a detailed action plan in response to the independent workplace review of the Office of the Clerk that was conducted in 2021. In 2022, he completed a review of the MLA code of conduct complaint regime and recommended amendments to the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act to help avoid costly and unnecessary public inquiries, while preserving the principles of transparency and procedural fairness. “Tim never shied away from giving his best advice to Members or from helping us see an issue from all sides,” said Caucus Chair Frieda Martselos. “But he respected political leadership. When a decision was made or direction given, he implemented it loyally and skillfully. I’ll sure miss him, but I understand that the timing of this decision is right for him and his family.”

Mr. Mercer was elected by his Canadian colleagues to serve two terms as president of the Society of Clerks-at-the-Table in Canada. He is currently the longest serving deputy head in the territorial public service and the third longest serving chief parliamentary clerk in Canada.

“I want to thank Tim for his many years of dedicated service to the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly,” said Speaker Blake. “We will miss his knowledge, expertise and perspective in the halls and meeting rooms of the Assembly. On behalf of the Board of Management, the Assembly staff, and all Members that he has served, past and present, I wish him the very best in the next stage of his life.”

The process to recruit the next Clerk of the Legislative Assembly will commence later this month. It is anticipated that a recommendation will be made by the Legislative Assembly to the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories during the winter 2023 sitting of the House.

For more information, contact:

Public Affairs and Communications

Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly