The Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, the Honourable Frederick Blake Jr., extends his condolences to the family and friends of former Speaker, the Honourable Robert MacQuarrie, who passed away earlier this week.
Mr. MacQuarrie began his adventure in the North in 1966 as an educator, teaching across the eastern Arctic as well as Yellowknife. His next chapter in life was to serve two terms at the Legislative Assembly representing Yellowknife Centre. He was elected as Speaker to the 9th Assembly in November 1979, but resigned from this role after less than a year as he believed he could better represent his constituents participating in debate on the floor of the House rather than directing Chamber decorum. The seldom-taken measure of resigning as Speaker was a testament to his resolve to represent his constituents in the way he knew best.
Mr. MacQuarrie held positions on several Committees during his time in the 9th and 10th Assemblies. Notably, during both of his terms, he was a member of the Constitutional Alliance of the Northwest Territories—a collective of representatives from Indigenous governments, Indigenous-led associations, and the Legislative Assembly tasked with consultation and engagement for guiding the development of a new government for what would become Nunavut.
His love for the North extended far beyond politics. He was well known for his musical talent and had written many songs about the Northwest Territories ranging in topics from everyday life to historic tales.
The flags at the Legislative Assembly have been lowered to half-mast to recognize the passing of past Speaker, the Honourable Robert MacQuarrie.
For more information, please contact:
Public Affairs and Communication
Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly