Chief coroner resigns
MacQuarrie gone for second time in just over a year

by Chris Meyers Almey
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 23/97) - A year ago chief coroner Jo MacQuarrie was sacked to save the NWT $75,000 a year. Then she was rehired. Now she has resigned.

The big question is, what about her seat on city council?

That's because the deputy minister of the justice department, Don Cooper, says MacQuarrie is moving to Edmonton.

MacQuarrie is being tight-lipped about everything and has never breathed a word about her future on city council.

Cooper says MacQuarrie has been with the territorial government for 17 years and with the federal government before that.

She has been in the NWT since the 1960s but is now retiring and moving south, said Cooper.

"So there's nothing more to it than that," he said.

After MacQuarrie was dumped in late February 1996, she offered no comment, but acting deputy justice minister Nora Sanders said then that the chief coroner would be offered the same layoff package as any other government employee.

It was planned that MacQuarrie's boss, the director of law enforcement, would do her job. Justice Minister Stephen Kakfwi even announced that Len Davies would assume the responsibilities.

But the next month, the government decided it would MacQuarrie's layoff and within a few weeks, she was back on the job.

Cooper said the government wishes MacQuarrie well in her retirement after 17 years of service.

And he said he didn't know who would replace her this time, noting the department would be looking at situation over the next four or six weeks.

"We've had Larry Campbell, B.C.'s chief coroner, looking over the office. We'll take our time," he said.

Two weeks ago, while rumors were swirling about MacQuarrie being on sick leave, Cooper said that Campbell was used often to help the coroners' office here.

In the meantime, Cathy Menard, the North's administrative coroner, is the acting chief coroner, Cooper said.