Checkpoint Program Evolves To Fit Unique Needs Of Fort Smith Area

Yellowknife — June 15, 2020
News Releases

The NWT has implemented a checkpoint  at the NWT-Alberta border in the Fort Smith area, to maintain protections for COVID-19 in the NWT while respecting deep ties between communities on either side.

The system includes passes for residents from the NWT and Alberta representing various situations and activities commonly shared between Fort Smith, Fort Fitzgerald, Smith’s Landing, and other nearby communities.

NWT residents from outside of Fort Smith are also able to access this system – opening up staycation possibilities for NWT residents.

For NWT residents:

·       Standard access pass: allows for day-use travel in-and-out of the NWT as far as Fort Fitzgerald and the Salt River Day Use area, and provides an authorized exemption to the self-isolation protocol requirements.

·       Limited access pass: allows for overnight travel in Alberta where the final destination is north of Hay Camp on Highway 61, or north of Peace Point on Highways 58 and 60 (includes Pine Lake).

·       Restricted access pass: allows for overnight travel Passes for travel originating in the NWT for travel to and from Alberta where the final destination is farther than Hay Camp on Highway 61, or farther than Peace Point on Highways 58 and 60.

For Alberta residents:

·       Standard access: Non-NWT residents traveling within the NWT where their travel originates in Alberta north of and including the vicinity of Fort Fitzgerald and the Salt River Day Use area may be issued a Standard Access Pass for day use access to the Town of Fort Smith and the immediate vicinity.

·       Limited access: Non-NWT residents traveling within the NWT where their travel originates in Alberta north of Hay Camp on Highway 61, or north of Peace Point on Highways 58 and 60 (includes Pine Lake) may be issued a Limited Access Pass for day use access to the Town of Fort Smith and the immediate vicinity.

·       Restricted access: Non-NWT residents traveling within the NWT where their travel originates in Alberta north of Hay Camp on Highway 61, or north of Peace Point on Highways 58 and 60 (includes Pine Lake) may be issued a Limited Access Pass for day use access to the Town of Fort Smith and the immediate vicinity.

Those wishing to get these passes should apply with the local regional enforcement lead, or complete their application at a checkpoint.

Quote

“This change in process will work to keep our territory safe and healthy, while maintaining the vital relationship between Fort Smith, and communities near our boundaries in Northern Alberta. It is our hope this will clarify the process for NWT and Alberta residents who often must travel on each side of the border, and allow opportunities for residents to enjoy amenities offered within this limited region of Alberta without needing to self-isolate.”

- Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services 

Quick facts

·       This area was chosen as there is not road access to other communities in Alberta during summer, and thus risk is limited within this region.

·       Those interested can email landssouthslave@gov.nt.ca to apply for a pass.

·       Those accessing the program should expect processing to take 5-7 business days. This is especially important for those applying from outside the area.

·       Checkpoint staff will record information like identification, licence plate number, contact information, and expected return date.

Related links

·       GNWT Public Health Orders

 

Media contact

Mike Westwick

Manager, Communications (COVID-19 Response)

Health and Social Services

Mike_Westwick@gov.nt.ca