View Printable Page
      Articles & Media
      News
      Blogs
      Archives

  PUBLICATIONS

 Register to receive Publications via email

Filter Publications contents by Topic:



 



COVID-19 Developments in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut

04-Jun-20

by the McLennan Ross Labour & Employment Team

 

NORTHWEST TERRITORIES

Public Health

  • Effective June 8, 2020, airline passengers traveling to the Northwest Territories are required to wear a mask on their flight. Passengers must supply their own non-medical mask. (More details)
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories (the “GNWT”) and the Government of Nunavut (the “GN”) are considering establishing a travel bubble between the two territories. This would allow NWT and Nunavut residents to travel freely between the territories. (More details)
  • The NWT may enter into Phase 2 of the Emerging Wisely Plan on June 12th. (More details)
  • Under Phase 2 of the Emerging Wisely Plan, the following would be permitted in addition to the activities already permitted under Phase 1:
    • Opening of movie theatres, dine-in restaurants, and fitness classes with restrictions.
    • Personal outdoor gatherings of 50 people or less.
    • Indoor sports and day programming.
    • Opening of community and youth centres.
    • Opening of campgrounds with restrictions.
    • Some government offices may open to the public.
  • Currently, Phase 1 is in force pursuant to a Public Health Order, which allows the following:
    • Certain businesses are permitted to be open with restrictions, such as personal service establishments (chiropractors, massage therapists, hair salons, etc.), museums, bottle depots, and personal training at fitness centres.
    • Up to 5 people who do not live in a household are permitted to visit, with a maximum of 10 people in the home at a time.
    • Personal outdoor gatherings of 25 people or less are permitted.
    • Other types of outdoor gatherings are permitted with restrictions, including farmers’ markets, campgrounds, recreational facilities, libraries, golf courses, beaches, boat launches, outdoor fields, and playgrounds.
  • Still in effect: Public Health Order – Travel Restrictions and Self-Isolation Protocol
    • Everyone is prohibited from entering the Territory, with some exceptions:
      • NWT residents returning home;
      • Workers importing/exporting goods or providing supply chain services;
      • Flight crews;
      • Essential services workers or supporting workers (see Order for complete list);
      • Persons providing child and dependent care to essential service workers;
      • Medical travelers from Nunavut;
      • Transient workers in the mineral and petroleum resources industry;
      • Workers involved in the construction of public and Indigenous infrastructure projects, including attendance at remote work camps and open, non-remote workplaces; and
      • Persons traveling through the NWT in transit to another jurisdiction.
    • NWT residents must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the NWT in either Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, or Fort Smith. A self-isolation plan must be completed and approved by a Public Health Officer.
    • Import/export, supply chain, and flight crew workers who will be in the NWT for:
      • less than 36 hours must self-monitor and abide by social distancing guidelines established by the Chief Public Health Officer. These workers must immediately self-isolate and contact a Public Health Officer if they exhibits symptoms; or
      • more than 36 hours must submit a worker self-isolation plan and self-isolate when not working. They must also abide by social distancing when not working or wear a face mask.
    • Persons in transit who will be in the NWT for:
      • less than 12 hours must practice social distancing and immediately self-isolate; or
      • more than 12 hours must self-isolate and report to a Public Health Officer.
    • Essential services workers, non-remote infrastructure workers, and support workers must self-isolate for 14 days upon their return to the NWT in either Yellowknife, Inuvik, Hay River, or Fort Smith. A worker self-isolation plan must be completed and approved by a Public Health Officer.
      • Employers can request exemptions from this requirement from the Chief Public Health Officer.
      • Exempted employees must practice social distancing or wear a face mask, including during travel. They must also self-isolate when not working.
      • Employers are responsible for ensuring that employees arriving from outside the NWT comply with these requirements.
      • Employers must also ensure that social distancing protocols are put into place that are consistent with workplace risk and field level risk assessments.
    • More details for travelers
    • More details on worker exemptions
  • Still in effect: Public Health Order – Mineral and Petroleum Industry
    • Workers must:
      • complete 14 days of social distancing in accordance with guidelines prior to traveling to camp;
      • complete a health screening with temperature check and COVID-19 symptom inquiry prior to traveling to camp;
      • complete an additional health screening, including COVID-19 symptom inquiry, prior to the start of each shift;
      • comply with social distancing measures while on shift;
      • report symptoms and then self-isolate in a designated part of the workplace; and
      • comply with disinfection procedures.
    • Employers must:
      • complete a workplace risk assessment prior to permitting workers to travel to camp;
      • establish workplace social distancing protocols consistent with the risk assessment;
      • have at the workplace the minimum number of staff necessary to maintain operations;
      • notify the Chief Public Health Officer if any employees display symptoms;
      • establish disinfection procedures satisfactory to the Chief Public Health Officer for certain areas and facilities; and
      • cease operation of self-serve buffets and mess halls.

 

Government Support for Businesses

  • The GNWT has increased funding for the Community Futures Program.
  • The Business Development and Investment Corporation (“BDIC”) is offering qualified small businesses in the NWT with Working Capital Loans of up to $25,000 (or more) at a rate of 1.75%. Loans will be amortized for up to five years with options for payment deferment. Applications can be submitted at any time.
  • Current clients of BDIC may apply for reduced or deferred payments of up to three months without penalty or additional interest.

 

Government

  • The majority of GNWT employees will work from home for the foreseeable future.
  • Some offices will reopen to the public in Phase 2 of the Emerging Wisely Plan, which may be implemented on June 12th.
  • A full list of programs and services availability can be accessed here.
  • Land Titles Office, Corporate Registries, and Personal Property Registry are only available online until further notice. Documents can be dropped off for filing during certain hours.

 

Schools and Childcare

  • All schools in the Northwest Territories will be closed for the remainder of the 2019/2020 academic year. (More details)
  • Early learning and childcare programs will remain open, where possible. (More details)

 

Courts

  • Court of Appeal for the Northwest Territories
    • Counsel will be advised of the accommodations available for the June 16th sittings.
    • More details
  • Supreme Court of the Northwest Territories
    • Regular Civil Chambers will proceed by way of teleconference only until further notice.
    • Special Civil Chambers scheduled between now and June 30th that do not have testimony may proceed by telephone.
    • All case management conferences will proceed by teleconference until further notice.
    • All matters will proceed in Courtroom 201. Members of the public are not permitted to attend court until further notice.
    • The Registry remains open for filing of documents.
    • More details
  • Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories
    • All lawyers are to be appear by telephone only until further notice.
    • All civil proceedings outside Yellowknife are cancelled until July 5th. Matters will be automatically rescheduled.
    • All non-urgent civil proceedings in Yellowknife will be automatically adjourned to a date after July 5th.
    • Only urgent interlocutory matters may proceed before July 6th.  
    • All civil mediations scheduled prior to July 6th will be rescheduled after July 5th, unless parties wish to proceed by way of teleconference.
    • All matters will proceed in Courtroom 202. Members of the public are not permitted to attend court until further notice.
    • The Registry remains open for filing of documents.
    • More details

 

NUNAVUT

Public Health

  • The GN has released Nunavut’s Path, which sets out the GN’s plan to move forward during COVID-19.
  • The Minister of Health has extended the Public Health Emergency to June 11, 2020.
  • Social distancing restrictions remain in place through a Public Health Order.
    • Businesses may operate as long as social distancing can be implemented.
    • Only 5 customers are permitted in a business at one time. This restriction does not apply to larger businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, and gas stations. Certain public organizations and buildings are also exempt.
    • Public parks and playgrounds are open for outdoor activities.
    • Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people. Indoor gatherings are limited to 5 people.
  • Still in effect: Travel Restriction Order
    • The Nunavut border is closed to everyone except:
      • Nunavut residents with a letter of authorization from the Chief Public Health Officer;
      • Import/export and supply chain workers;
      • Flight and vessel crewmembers;
      • Critical service workers and their support workers;
      • Indigenous people exercising hunting rights;
      • Transient workers traveling directly to camp and never entering communities;
      • Temporary Foreign Workers entitled to enter Canada;
      • Medical travelers; and
      • Anyone else authorized by the Chief Public Health Officer to enter the territory.
    • Anyone traveling into Nunavut must self-isolate for 14 days in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, or Yellowknife before boarding the plane. A clearance letter from the Chief Public Health Officer is required.
    • Import/export and supply chain workers must practice social distancing and self-monitor for symptoms.
    • Critical workers must self-monitor and undergo a risk assessment by a Medical Health Officer.
    • Flight and vessel crewmembers must report to the Chief Public Health Officer within one hour of arriving and cannot leave the port of entry until directed.
    • All Nunavut residents who leave the territory voluntarily will be required to pay $2,100 per individual and $1,050 per each additional family member to the Government of Nunavut to cover the cost of staying at an approved hotel for the mandatory 14-day isolation period in either Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, or Yellowknife prior to their return to the territory. (More details)
  • Effective April 20, 2020, airline passengers traveling to Nunavut are required to wear a mask on their flight. Passengers must supply their own non-medical mask. (More details)

 

Government

  • All non-essential GN personnel will work from home.
  • Residents should call and make appointments for services before attending in-person.
  • Labour Standards Office is available to provide services.

 

Schools and Daycares

  • All schools in Nunavut will be closed for the rest of the 2019/2020 academic year.
  • Daycares are permitted to open up for regular business.
  • More details

 

Courts

  • Nunavut Court of Justice
    • Regular court operations will remain suspended until July 3, 2020. All satellite court operations remain closed. (More details)
    • All civil matters have been adjourned sine die. Only emergency matters may proceed.
    • Some limited in-person criminal court appearances may proceed on June 1st with restrictions. (More details)
    • Telephone conferencing will be encouraged.
    • The Registry remains open for the filing of electronic documents only.
  • Nunavut Sheriff’s Office
    • The Nunavut Sheriff’s Office will be suspending all document service (current and new) for the time being.
Real Time Web Analytics