Today, Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories, formally announced the creation of the COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat. The Secretariat will be responsible for managing the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GNWT’s COVID-19 response to date has been multifaceted and has involved many government departments, non-government agencies and organizations from across the territory.
Objectives for the Secretariat have been designed to enhance the GNWT’s current approach to pandemic response. These objectives include: establishing a clear accountability and responsibility framework; providing dedicated resources to managing the GNWT’s COVID activities while retaining resources for managing the government’s ongoing operations; ensure consideration of health, economic, and legal impacts in future actions, while maintaining Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) independence; and supporting clear and coordinated communications as it pertains to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat will be led by Associate Deputy Minister Russell Neudorf, who will report directly to the Premier. Mr. Neudorf is currently Associate Deputy Minister in Municipal and Community Affairs with primary responsibility for the Emergency Management Organization.
“Early on, it was made clear that the challenges COVID-19 presents to the Northwest Territories requires a coordinated approach. The COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat pulls together COVID-19-related supports and resources from multiple departments, teaming them up to meet the challenges of management and oversight of the GNWT’s response in the best and most efficient way. This is a necessary move and one that I am confident will benefit Northwest Territories residents as we continue to adjust to the impacts of COVID-19.
-Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories
- It is anticipated that the COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat will remain in place for up to 2 years.
- The COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat will be located within the Department of Health and Social Services, but the Associate Deputy Minister will report directly to the Premier.
- The process to transition existing GNWT COVID-19 response activities into the COVID-19 Coordinating Secretariat will begin immediately.
Government of the Northwest Territories