Chilling statement

N.W.T. MLA’s office reverses block on Cabin Radio’s access to virtual press conference

Northwest Territories Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh MLA Steve Norn barred Cabin Radio reporters from a virtual press conference on Nov. 18, 2021. 

When Cabin Radio reporter Emily Blake contacted the legislature to get log-in details for a virtual press conference Norn had scheduled, a legislature staff member refused, reported the Yellowknife-based outlet

The staffer told Blake that Norn “has advised that he does not want Cabin Radio to attend today’s press conference,” and that she should contact Norn for a comment.

Shortly after Cabin Radio published a story about the situation, the legislature provided the publication with a link to the press conference. 

The press conference came a day after a public inquiry concluded Norn had broken territorial COVID-19 self-isolation rules.

Cabin Radio was the first publication to report on the incidents which were the subject of the inquiry. 

Norn had refused to speak with Cabin Radio for over half a year, and had called a Cabin Radio reporter a “liar” as they testified at the public inquiry, wrote Cabin Radio’s head of programming and news, Ollie Williams. 

A Cabin Radio reporter attending the press conference would be “persona non grata if they’re in the room,” Norn said in an interview with the CBC.

“They don’t have any oversight, they don’t have a CRTC licence — quite frankly, I’m surprised they even have a press pass here at the (Legislative Assembly),” he told the CBC.