Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Today, I wish to provide an update on the ongoing efforts of the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs to work with community government partners to support the COVID-19 pandemic response.
We have all been affected by COVID-19. Taking action to slow the spread and protect public health has required leaders from all levels of government to act and adjust operations in order to continue serving the Northwest Territories' residents. Since mid-March, MACA has worked with community governments to identify and monitor impacts to communities, share information about the government response to the pandemic, update community emergency plans, and ensure local emergency and essential services are provided. Community governments have also needed to adapt. Practical changes have been met with creative solutions such as holding council meetings remotely and making changes to bylaws to do so.
Mr. Speaker, these efforts have been supported in partnership with the Northwest Territories Association of Communities through virtual town-hall meetings with community leaders that have happened since the beginning of the pandemic. Other Ministers and GNWT officials have worked collaboratively at these meetings to share information and answer questions that leaders may have about specific topics. I am proud to say that these meetings have fostered engagements between our community governments, resulting in responsive made-in-the-NWT plans that have helped to provide assistance and support to the Northwest Territories' residents. These include food hampers and on-the-land supports. MACA also worked with other departments to create multimedia communications about safety during the pandemic, fact sheets, and how-to-get-help guidelines.
Mr. Speaker, MACA continues to connect with community governments regularly to share current COVID-19 information, provide support with problems and issues they are encountering, to hear their concerns, to answer any questions they may have, and to provide a mechanism to feed their information into the government response. Currently, MACA is continuing our work with the health authorities, the Department of Health and Social Services, and to engage community governments to provide community-specific details and updates to community pandemic plans that reflect the capacity and resources in each community and region to support the health response efforts.
Mr. Speaker, we want to share our gratitude and thanks on the ongoing efforts of the community governments, not only maintaining support for their residents as well as their support for the government in maintaining isolation centres and border check points, both on our highways and at the airports. On that note, I also must recognize the GNWT staff, especially those who have put their hands forward to be redeployed to support these efforts. As the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, I want to echo an early statement by our Premier and take a moment to recognize them in the Legislative Assembly and say thank you.
Mr. Speaker, we have benefitted greatly and appreciated the collaboration and solution-based approach of everyone involved. We thank the leadership in our communities for their efforts and their cooperation. MACA is committed to continue working with the communities to share information, to listen, and to respond to issues and concerns. We will work together to continue to manage the risk and protect our residents. Nothing is more important than the safety of our people. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.