GNWT to Enterprise: you're closed
Enterpise ordered to disband its council

by Arthur Milnes
Northern News Services

ENTERPRISE (Apr 13/98) - Democracy has been put on hold in Enterprise.

On Thursday, staff from the NWT Department of Municipal and Community Affairs arrived in the tiny settlement with an order to disband the Enterprise council and its lone employee. Minister Manitok Thompson has appointed Fort Simpson MACA employee Ian McCrae to serve as settlement administrator for a period that could last until December.

"I have considered the available options to resolve the severe administrative, management and operational problems currently faced by the Settlement of Enterprise," Thompson said in a hand-delivered letter obtained by News/North Thursday.

"These problems were identified by a recent municipal inspection conducted by staff."

"Therefore, in the interest of the Settlement of Enterprise and the public, I am declaring the settlement to be under the control of the settlement administrator."

Thompson's letter also announces that a gag order has been placed on the inspection report that led the decision.

A call from News/North to MACA's deputy minister was not returned by press time. Calls to regional MACA officials were referred to the deputy minister's office.

In Enterprise, former councillor Winnie Cadieux said her community is in shock.

"Our democratic rights have been stomped out," she said. "They (Enterprise residents) are being told that the government doesn't trust them to elect who they want to represent them."

Cadieux also said that the council she sat on until Thursday had no inkling that this move was coming. She said that the settlement's SAO has taken extra steps to ensure that proper procedures are being followed and that the SAO has been in regular communication with MACA officials since the March inspection.

Her council has never seen a copy of the inspection report, she added.

And Cadieux said that her calls to Thompson Thursday were not returned.

In January, the largely non-aboriginal community of about 86 on the edge of the Deh Cho made news when it asked Deh Cho First Nations leaders if Enterprise could become a member. The matter is to be decided at a DCFN meeting this coming summer.

DCFN Grand Chief Michael Nadli, Western Arctic MP Ethel Blondin-Andrew and area MLAs are among those Cadieux said her community has contacted for assistance in the wake of MACA's move.

Top of pageDiscussion boardSearch