Hay River South
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I would again like to raise current issues surrounding the monitoring and enforcement of the COVID-19 orders established by the Chief Public Health Officer. I continue to receive numerous calls about persons, businesses, and visitors not following the Chief Public Health Officer's orders in the community of Hay River. I have been informed time and time again that we continue to have drug dealers and others snubbing the orders while we put these people up in hotels at this government's expense.
In addition, the community is experiencing an influx of southern workers who are not following the orders. A worker who attended a retail outlet in Hay River informed the owner he had just arrived in town and was not required to self-isolate and was only required to wear a mask, which he did not have on. Another was a visiting salesperson who was selling windows. That person was going door to door and interacting with residents, something I assume we want to avoid. A final example is that of a local retailer who required a certified relief worker in the health field who filed an application with Protect NWT. It took over two weeks to receive confirmation the person would be allowed in. The response was received too late, and the worker changed his mind. That put our northern business in a difficult position. The result is overworked health care workers.
Mr. Speaker, I understand that Protect NWT is probably swamped with calls. If they are understaffed, I expect this government to provide them with the additional support required to provide timely and consistent responses. When we open our borders, it is imperative that the responsible department have a plan to protect those communities closest to NWT entry points. If we expect to uphold the orders of the Chief Public Health Officer, then this government needs to support Protect NWT, monitoring, enforcement, and border security with additional staff. What we have in Hay River right now is not working. Mr. Speaker, in addition, northern businesses are finding the process for bringing in essential or supply chain workers to be not efficient. These businesses want to do the right thing, however, are finding the application process both confusing and time consuming. There are no clear answers when clarification is requested. The process must be clear and concise if we expect to retain those businesses in the North. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.