Glen Abernethy, the NWT’s health minister, says he will not seek re-election at the coming 2019 territorial election this fall. Abernethy was voted into office in 2007 as the MLA for Great Slave and joined the cabinet in 2011 as the justice minister before taking over responsibility for health and social services in 2013. 

Abernethy announced his decision on Facebook Sunday afternoon.

“I know there has been a fair amount of speculation about whether or not I was going to seek re-election this fall. Given that the election is a month away I am formally notifying you of my decision to not seek re-election in the 2019 Territorial election.”

Abernathy added that he’s served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for Great Slave for 12 years and is proud of what he helped accomplish in the territory, however, it’s time for a change.

“They say that life begins at 50. Well, I’m 48, and I’m ready for new challenges and excited about pursuing new opportunities. I don’t know what these are yet but I’m excited by the possibilities.”

Another reason for Abernathy stepping down was so he could focus on what’s most important to him, his family.

“I’m so lucky to have Carolyn and John in my life. I’ve been so blessed with this beautiful family. As I watch John grow, I can’t wait for the next chapter of our life together. This is my greatest priority.”

His decision not to seek re-election leaves Katrina Nokleby as the only candidate to have declared their intent to run in Yellowknife’s Great Slave district.