Go back



NNSL Logo .
 Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad Print window Print this page

Handley bowing out

Adam Johnson
Northern News Services
Published Friday, August 17, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Premier Joe Handley announced Wednesday that won't be seeking another term as MLA for Weledeh.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Premier Joe Handley says he's decided it is time to seek new ways to serve the people of the NWT. - Adam Johnson/NNSL photo

"I have decided it is time to seek new ways to serve the people of this territory," he said Wednesday in a formal statement to the legislative assembly.

"I'm glad there are so many people here to celebrate that," he said with a chuckle, addressing striking Fort Smith care workers who watched from the public gallery.

Outside of the Great Hall, Handley was vague about what will follow 14 years as a senior bureaucrat and another eight in the territorial government.

"I'm certainly not going to sit at home and drink coffee and snooze all day," he said, but he does plan to stay in Yellowknife.

"I'm going to keep all my options open," said Handley, who wouldn't comment on who might follow him as premier or MLA for Weledeh.

"I'm not going to choose sides," he said.

Handley's statement to the session reviewed his government's accomplishments and shortcomings, including positive references to the state of the NWT's finances and steps forward on the Deh Cho bridge plan, but the failure to secure a devolution deal with the federal government.

"To be so close and not quite get that is so frustrating," he said.

Of the 19 standing MLAs, three have now announced they will not be running in the Oct. 1 election. Great Slave MLA Bill Braden is going back to school, and Frame Lake MLA Charles Dent plans to retire in Yellowknife.