Media Statement on behalf of the Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly

YELLOWKNIFE (December 3, 2021) – The Speaker of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, the Honourable Frederick Blake Jr., has issued the following statement:

All Members and Legislative Staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

In the 21 days since I announced the vaccination requirement, the Legislative Assembly has achieved 100% compliance, meaning all active employees and all Members are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

To meet the Assembly’s accelerated vaccination timeline, Members and staff submitted proof of vaccination to the Sergeant-at-Arms, who is responsible for security and safety programs for the Legislative Assembly. We continue to work to have this information verified through the GNWT’s human resources system for the statistics to correctly reflect our vaccination rate, but this has not been our main tracking mechanism to date.

In order to ensure the health and safety of the Legislative Assembly’s workforce the Assembly’s Board of Management approved the Legislative Assembly Building COVID-19 Vaccination Policy on November 1, 2021 that outlines vaccination requirements for staff and contractors, as well as Members attending the building when not participating in sittings, other Assembly proceedings, and Committee meetings.

Following this decision, on November 22, 2021, a motion was passed in the House to require Members of the Legislative Assembly to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend sittings, other Assembly proceedings, and Committee meetings in the building.

I am proud of our Members and staff for stepping up and being fully vaccinated in time to meet the requirements outlined within the Policy. Vaccination helps our Members and employees have confidence that every measure has been taken to ensure the safety of their workplace, wherever it is.

The pandemic has been a trying and turbulent time in the Northwest Territories and beyond. While consensus government does not mean that unanimous agreement is necessary for decisions to be made, I am proud that we all agree on the importance of being vaccinated. I would like to thank all Members and Assembly staff who have demonstrated leadership in our territorial and national vaccination effort against COVID-19.