Mayor and Council Legal Update


DATE: JANUARY 25, 2023

This is a natural point for reflection. This has been a long legal process through which we have learned that legal processes are very difficult and hurtful to a community and the individuals involved.

We initiated this action out of respect for our constituents. Former Mayor Nathan Watson reminded Council in his letter of apology to Town Council that our community is hurting because of the past and our job is to help mend the community. We must represent our entire community in a constructive fashion. We sincerely thank former Mayor Nathan Watson for his heartfelt message.

For the time period between 2015 and 2018 our community and its leaders experienced turmoil. Through our time on Council and through this process we have learned a lot about the dysfunction former Council suffered up to dissolution of that Council by Municipal and Community Affairs, GNWT.

Municipal and Community Affairs, GNWT, promised the Town it would commission a forensic audit and retained through contract, a local accounting firm, EPR Yellowknife Accounting Professional Corporation, to conduct the audit.

We have been assured that the agreed upon terms of reference for the audit were reflected in the resultant contract between EPR and Municipal and Community Affairs, GNWT.

Eleanor Young, Deputy Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, GNWT, endorsed the Town’s decision and stood with Mayor Pope when he announced the Town’s intentions to the public with the findings of the audit.

We worked closely with and fully trusted Municipal and Community Affairs, GNWT, as their role with municipalities and communities is one of governmental oversight, support and advice.

We have successfully rectified any employee and financial issues faced by the Town and have mitigated the potential for repeat of what the former Council experienced.

This is a time for conciliation. We have chosen to take the moral high ground. We concede the fraud lawsuit by consenting to Ms. Mallon’s application for summary dismissal.

We will continue to explore alternate paths to ensure that the needs of our constituents are looked after with respect. We will continue to keep the community informed of our actions.

We have put considerable efforts into what we believe, but in light of EPR’s public apology to Ms. Mallon we have determined it no longer prudent to pursue the current course of action.

We were cognizant from the outset that this was going to be a resource intensive process. We have consistently checked the viability of this investment and have now determined it is no longer viable.

Our annual report will outline the Town’s comprehensive legal costs.


Mayor and Council for the Town of Norman Wells


Mayor Frank Pope at 867-688-0613

Councillor Dave Weaver at 403-352-9141