Dr. Kami Kandola, Opening Remarks, Weekly Media Briefing

Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Yellowknife — April 29, 2020

Good afternoon.

This week, we’ve been focused on planning for emerging gradually, and safely, from our current levels of public health restrictions.

The changes we’ve introduced to our Public Health Orders this week are allowing us to consider taking these first steps.

Because if we can track those entering our territory when they’re at highest-risk of transmission, and keep our boundaries strong, we can bring more freedom and stability to our residents as we continue our response to this virus.

My team and I are working around-the-clock – analyzing all the data we have on transmission dynamics, cases, deaths, and the situation across Canada and the globe – and deliberating on the best way to move forward with our territory’s unique needs in mind.

But I’ll echo my statement from last week, and impress just how important it is we get this plan right from the start – and that we communicate this shift to all residents correctly.

With that in-mind, we will be continuing our work this week to get this right from the start, and we look forward to sharing details of how we plan to do that as soon as possible.

What I can share right now is some of the things we’ll be considering:

  • The right way to ease restrictions on gatherings;
  • How to safely provide businesses with relief;
  • The best ways to manage returns to work within government and schools;
  • How to continue to protect against further introduction of COVID-19 within our territory; and
  • How to keep our most vulnerable safe until we get a vaccine.

We will not have further details today because it is important we present a plan with the triggers, milestones, and parameters defined right away so we do not confuse residents.

Lastly, as I do every week, I want to offer my deepest gratitude to NWT residents and organizations who have taken this seriously, and made extraordinary sacrifices from the start.

It is your efforts to follow our orders, and change your lifestyles, that has kept your communities, and our loved ones, safe.

Together, we have planked the curve – something very few have achieved thus far.

And if we do this right, and we are all really careful, we’re in a position to keep it going through the second and third waves we are expecting to see across the rest of Canada.

So be proud of yourselves – because even though it might not feel like it sometimes, you are all doing something amazing right now.

Thank you.