Commissioner Of The Northwest Territories
Hon. Margaret Thom
[Translation] It is good to see you again and all of my people. We're on the First Nations land. We all are very thankful for that. [Translation ends]
Mr. Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly, good afternoon. First of all, I'd like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional territories and the sacred lands of the Chief Drygeese and the Yellowknives First Nation, and we are honoured and blessed to be working on their traditional land, keeping in mind that we honour that. Mahsi.
It is great to see you all and a long time, and I am honoured to be in this great House to address our government. We find ourselves 12 months into a worldwide public health crisis with the COVID-19 virus, since last March the 11th when the Pandemic was declared. There is now a vaccine to fight it, which will save countless lives if we all do our part to get vaccinated and continue to be vigilant with the public health recommendations and protocols.
My husband and I have both received the first and second doses of the vaccine, so we encourage our family and friends to get vaccinated, as well. I, as the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, was the first in our community of Fort Providence, followed by the First Nation chief, hamlet mayor, Member of Parliament, and Metis representative to receive the first dose of the vaccine on January 18, 2021. I was anxious to receive the vaccine not only for my own health and peace of mind but to be a role model to some reluctant community members, to show them that it is okay and safe to get this vaccine. Never in my life was I so eager and grateful to get a needle in my arm.
We need to continue to be extremely diligent in taking all public health precautions set out by our Chief Public Health Officer for the NWT, Dr. Kami Kandola, and her dedicated staff. The public health precautions and getting vaccinated will ensure the safety of our health, the health of our families, our friends, and neighbours across our territory. We must be aware, 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. Not many people are aware that several retired northern nurses have returned to work and are working extra long hours to help with the public vaccination clinics across our territory. Their dedication to the profession of nursing and to their communities is so greatly appreciated. Mahsi cho.
I want to thank all the government departments and, in particular, the Department of Health and Social Services for all of the research, preparation, and updated information provided to us on a regular basis to keep us all informed so that we will make sound decisions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Tough decisions continue to be made so that we can all be safe and healthy. Mahsi cho.
Yes, the time will come when we can gather, hug, celebrate, and dance again. Spring is in the air. As we welcome the sunshine, longer daylight hours, and activities outside of our homes within our respective social bubbles, we must take extreme safety precautions as we travel and play on this great land of ours. Having said that, know that you all need a well-deserved break, to breathe and to ground yourselves. May you be blessed with safe travels to your homes, families, communities in your ridings, and enjoy a happy, blessed Easter season with your loved ones.