In his first address to the assembly, newly elected by the other MLAs, Premier Bob McLeod made a strong pitch for people to work together and make consensus government work.
“Our territory is too small to be fragmented by issues that divide us,” he stated.
“We know from experience that our challenges will be significant, but our collective will to make things better for our people is strong. This assembly must be the forum in which we find and reach consensus for the good of our Territory.”
In the speech McLeod made to all the MLAs the week prior in his bid to become premier, he said, “There is a need for an economic strategy responsive to changing economic conditions which will be critical to our ability to invest in and stabilize the northern economy. I have heard calls for a resource development strategy, I have heard concerns about exploration investment declining in the NWT and I have heard the calls for increased environmental stewardship. My response is simple, we must take a balanced approach. And not a high wire balancing act where the impacts of a development could be catastrophic, but a solid balanced approach that allows economic growth, employment for Northerners and conservation of our land.”
In that speech he sent a message to the people of the Northwest Territories.
“We seek your guidance and advice as we move forward over the next four years. I ask you to get involved, ask for information, attend meetings and educate yourself about what your government is doing. Talk to us about how well we are doing and let us know when we are not doing well.”
Soon after the new cabinet was selected the MLAs all met in Detah with Aboriginal leaders to take the first step in creating a working relationship to make consensus government work.