5th Northwest Territories Legislative Council

The 5th Northwest Territories Legislative Council was the 12th assembly of the territorial government. This council's members were elected and appointed in the 1964 general election and served until it was dissolved for the 1967 general election.

5th Legislative Council
Bent Gestur Sivertz
since July 12, 1963
Stuart Milton Hodgson
since March 2, 1967
Seats9 at election
12 at dissolution
Last election
Meeting place
Various communities and Ottawa


The incumbent Commissioner of the territory at the beginning of the council was Bent Gestur Sivertz. He left office on January 16, 1967, and was replaced by Deputy Commissioner Stuart Milton Hodgson on March 2, 1967.

The Deputy Commissioner at the beginning of the council was Wilfred G. Brown who left office on July 23, 1965. He was replaced by Hodgson in that role who then went on to replace Sivertz as Commissioner. Hodgson was replaced by John Havelock Parker who served as Deputy Commissioner from March 2, 1967, until dissolution.


First sessionEdit

The first session of the 5th Council resulted in Royal Assent for 15 bills. Among the legislation was a $75 per month Old Age Pension allowance with additional living subsidies for disabled persons. A bill that allowed commercial sports to be played on Sunday, a bill appropriating $210,000 from the federal government to fund a first mortgage housing program and an increase in big game hunting quota's for the Mackenzie District.[1]

The council also passed two motions without debate, the first introduced by appointed member Frank Vallee that called for an amendment to the Northwest Territories Act to increase council representation to 13 men with expansion of electoral districts to the east arctic. A second motion introduced by Robert Poritt called on the federal government to drop its plans to divide the Northwest Territories into two territories.[1]

Third sessionEdit

The Third session was held in Resolute Bay commencing on October 31, 1966. The session included the new eastern arctic members of the council that had been elected in the September by-elections. This session was the first time since 1905 that elected members held a majority.[2]


Date Name Appointed on the advice of Notes
August 1, 1965 Stuart Milton Hodgson Appointed Deputy Commissioner
[3] October 18, 1965 Abraham Okpik Lester Pearson First Inuit member of the Council
March 2, 1967 John Havelock Parker Appointed Deputy Commissioner


Date District Member Reason
September 19, 1966 Central Arctic Duncan Pryde New electoral district
September 19, 1966 Eastern Arctic Simonie Michael New electoral district
September 19, 1966 Keewatin Robert Williamson New electoral district

A set of three historic by-elections took place on September 19, 1966. The Carrothers Commission recommended that electoral districts be established in the eastern arctic which had previously been unrepresented in council and disenfranchised from territorial voting.

The result was the creation of three electoral districts; Central Arctic, Eastern Arctic and Keewatin. A by-election was held on September 19, 1966. Only Eastern Arctic was contested which resulted in the first elected Inuit to serve on council who won in a three way race. It would also mark the first time since elections were established in 1881 that the entire Northwest Territories had representation on council.


  1. ^ a b "North Meet Is Prorogued". Edmonton Journal. June 13, 1964. p. 28.
  2. ^ "Territories Council To Gather". Edmonton Journal. October 28, 1966. p. 65.
  3. ^ "Eskimo Council Member". Ottawa Citizen. October 18, 1965. p. 3.

External linksEdit