Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Each one of us has a critical decision to make today. It's unfortunate that we're at this place, however as Members of this legislature, it's now up to us to decide what way forward will be. The Speaker has ruled on the point of privilege and found that the Member's comments breached the privilege of Members of this legislature. Threats and harassment are not appropriate for any Member to use against other Members and the staff who provide support to us in our work.
Mr. Speaker, this threat affects us all but I would argue it affects women Members and staff greater. Mr. Speaker, we live in a territory where our rates of family violence are second highest in the country. We live in a society that women have, for too long, been ignored in their cries for help.
Mr. Speaker, it's not okay to threaten anyone. And we cannot say we want to address the unacceptable levels of violence against women if we allow or justify our leaders to do the very actions that we collectively say are not okay. These actions are not acceptable and cannot be justified and there needs to be consequences for these actions.
We also have before us, Mr. Speaker, the report of the sole adjudicator. When we were elected, we made a commitment to conduct ourselves in a manner that instills trust and confidence on the part of the general public in their elected officials and that we'd be found by the code of conduct for MLAs. The code of conduct guides us as we perform our duties as MLAs but it also sets out processes to be followed should an MLA be alleged to have breached the code of conduct.
As Members of this legislature, we hold a position of trust and authority. Members are expected to hold themselves to a high standard of conduct. As outlined in the Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act, each Member shall comply with the provisions of the act and the code of conduct. It also states clearly in section 75 of the Legislative and Executive Council Act that we must perform our duties of office we hold and arrange for our private affairs in such a way to maintain public confidence and trust in our integrity, objectivity, an impartiality. The Legislative Assembly and Executive Council Act sets out a process for investigation and adjudication for allegations of the breaches of code of conduct.
In this case, Members followed this process and requested that the Integrity Commissioner determine if the matters should be referred to a sole adjudicator. The Integrity Commissioner did undertake an investigation and determined that a sole adjudicator should be appointed. We've now received the final report of the sole adjudicator.
Since the beginning of this unfortunate ordeal, I've been asked many times what my perspective is on the actions of the MLA. I have maintained that this has never been about a court of public opinion. It has been about ensuring we use the appropriate mechanisms in place to allow for a fair process. The MLA deserved that. The final report of the sole adjudicator is the result of the process that we have all agreed to be governed by. The sole adjudicator made an important distinction in his report that I believe is worth repeating today. If the only issue he was making a determination on was the breaching of the self-isolation, he would have recommended a 30-day suspension. The sole adjudicator found more serious the MLA misleading the public health officials and the public. It is clear to me that the MLA did mislead the public and damaged the very public confidence and trust that we are sworn to uphold. As the sole adjudicator said in the report, the actions by the MLA in falsely advising the public health officials as to his whereabouts during his self-isolation period are reprehensible.
The MLA, as a Member of the Legislative Assembly and chair of the Standing Committee for Accountability and Oversight, the MLA had a leadership role in the fight in this deadly disease. As was outlined by a public health official who had handled approximately 600 contact tracing investigations, the misleading and false statements by the MLA during their investigations negatively affected their ability to do their job and protect the health and safety of residents. The MLA was well aware of his responsibility to isolate when returning to the territory. As chair of the Standing Committee on Accountability and Oversight, he had access to more information than the public and made repeated statements about following the public health orders.
By not following the public health orders on self-isolation, he potentially exposed hundreds of people to COVID-19 and put the health and well-being of residents, communities, and especially those unable to get vaccinated, at risk. This, the sole adjudicator states, breached section 8 of the code of conduct and did not protect the public interest by not self-isolating and breaching the public health order, the MLA also breached section 2 of the code of conduct that states that Members must act lawfully and in a manner that will withstand the closest public scrutiny, upholding the integrity and honor of the Legislative Assembly and its Members. Members shall ensure their conduct does not bring the integrity of their office or of the Legislative Assembly into disrepute.
The sole adjudicator wrote in his report that the actions in misleading the public regarding his compliance with the self-isolation order are highly unethical and dishonest as they violate the public trust provided to him. I agree, Mr. Speaker.
The sole adjudicator goes on to say that the MLA's actions in breaching self-isolation requirements and misleading the public had irreparably damaged public confidence and trust. I also agree. The orders made by the Chief Public Health Officer are law, not suggestions.
Mr. Speaker, we all make mistakes in our lives. Taking responsibility and owning the mistakes is the mark of leadership and integrity. As the sole adjudicator stated in the report, the MLA showed no respect for the participants in the inquiry and for the rule of law which is such an integral component of a democratic society. Had the MLA been truthful at the start, we would not be in this position.
Mr. Speaker, I don't believe the MLA respects the rules that hold us accountable. These events have negatively impacted the integrity of the Legislative Assembly and the public's trust and confidence in this House. As I stated yesterday, threatening Members and staff is not appropriate behaviour and inconsistent with the code of conduct we all agreed to uphold. The threats that were raised through the points of privilege, and the actions taken by MLA Norn outlined in the sole adjudicator's report show a pattern of behaviour that must be addressed by this House.
Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I will be supporting the motion brought forward by the Member that is reflective of the recommendation of the sole adjudicator to declare the seat for the riding of Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh vacant. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.