Commissioner Of The Northwest Territories
Hon. Margaret Thom
Please be seated. Good afternoon, Mr. Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly. [Translation] Thank you. Glad to see you here again. I am glad that I am very grateful that I am going to talk to you. It is going to be for your work. I honour you. [Translation ends]
I am honoured to be in this great House to address our government.
As you are aware by now, we are saddened by the news that former Commissioner of the NWT, John Parker, passed away on March 9th. He served as the Deputy Commissioner of the NWT from 1967 until 1979, when he became Commissioner of the NWT and served in this position until he retired in 1989.
Mr. Parker played a huge role in the shaping of our political arena in the Northwest Territories. He worked diligently with only the best interests of, and for the betterment of, all northern residents. His hard work has allowed us to make decisions for ourselves as a distinct northern territory, and this helped to change how the world perceived us. Most importantly, John Parker gave us the power to govern ourselves. We honour that legacy he left us, and it is our responsibility to carry on this journey in a respectful way.
We send our sincere condolences to his wife, Helen, and his family, and to all Northerners who crossed paths with John and became lifelong friends. May his journey to the spirit world be a peaceful one.
We find ourselves in a worldwide crisis with the coronavirus. Although there are no confirmed cases in the Northwest Territories and our neighbouring territories of Nunavut and Yukon, it does not mean we are immune to this very serious virus. We need to continue to be extremely diligent in taking all precautions to ensure the safety of our health, the health of our families, and of our friends and neighbours across our territory. We must be aware and accepting and vigilant about how serious this pandemic is, and of its very severe and dangerous potential consequences to our people and to our economy.
I want to thank our government departments, in particular the Departments of Health and Social Services and Municipal and Community Affairs, for all the research, preparation, and updated information they are providing to keep us all informed so that we will make sound decisions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Mahsi cho.
In closing, I wish you all the guidance, prayers, and Godspeed as you continue your deliberations in establishing and preparing an action plan to deal with COVID-19 in the NWT. We need to lead by example by taking all the necessary precautions to keep us all safe and healthy. It is so important that we all work together collectively in the spirit of cooperation, remembering that we are a resilient territory and nation.