Former MLA Kevin Menicoche gets extension for N.W.T. retraining assistance fund

Another former Northwest Territories MLA from the 17th assembly has signaled he wants retraining assistance from the legislative assembly.

Former Nahendeh MLA Kevin Menicoche has received a seven-month extension to file his request for funding under the Retraining Assistance Program For Non-returning Members. The program is meant to help politicians make the transition back to private life. 

Eight other former members from the last assembly have already been approved for a combined $70,000 in funding. 

Menicoche says he's seeking money to take marketing, small business and bookkeeping courses to launch a cultural business in Fort Simpson.

As a member who served three terms, he's eligible for the maximum amount under the program, $12,000. 

Extra 7 months 

The board of management, which is made up of current MLAs and approves applications to the program, has given Menicoche an extra seven months to submit the details for what programs he wants to take. 

"I'm in the early stages of planning and I was just waiting on approval of the extension to continue with my planning," he said. "I didn't see any need to start wasting energy in case they refused it for whatever reason."

Launching his own business would be a career change for Menicoche. He's a former maintenance technician for Enbridge's Line 21 pipeline between Norman Wells and Zama, Alta.

"For 12 years you give up your personal life and because we're so busy we don't focus on keeping current with what previous skills we had or whatever previous business life we had."

He says he had no qualms about tapping into the program.

"I've always been in favour of it. I've always felt that we shouldn't compete with our adults and students wishing to return to school and access the limited funding from Student Financial Assistance program."