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N.W.T: Territorial Court judges fully vaccinated; jabs for staff who work with ‘vulnerable’ mandated

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 @ 4:11 PM | By Amanda Jerome


The Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories (NWT) has confirmed that all its resident judges are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Chief Judge Robert Gorin, on behalf of the Territorial Court, issued a statement to The Lawyer’s Daily that said, “all resident judges of the Territorial Court of the Northwest Territories are fully vaccinated.”    

“Additionally, all deputy judges who are asked to preside in the NWT must first confirm that they are fully vaccinated,” he added.

The Lawyer’s Daily has been reaching out to all chief justices and chief judges across Canada to determine what policies the courts have put in place regarding COVID-19 vaccinations. Chief Judge Gorin was the only N.W.T. judge to respond to request for comment on this issue.

According to the N.W.T. government, the daily case count of active COVID-19 cases was 243 as of Sept. 27. There have been 970 confirmed cases, with 722 resolved and five deaths.

As of Sept. 27, 77 per cent of the territory was fully vaccinated and 82 per cent was partially vaccinated.

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has also announced that “employees who interact with vulnerable members of the public” are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Nov. 30.

According to the announcement, issued Sept. 27, the territorial government is “committed to protecting the health and well-being of GNWT employees, NWT residents, and communities.”

“As such, the new policy will apply to those who provide service to vulnerable members of the public in the health care, education and corrections sectors, and employees travelling to remote communities on duty travel,” the announcement explained.

The release stressed that the GNWT “recognizes that privacy and trust are particularly important where health information is concerned,” noting that “personal information is protected by provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, (ATIPPA) associated with its collection, use, disclosure and protection.”

The government “engaged with the Union of Northern Workers, the NWT Teachers Association, Indigenous Governments, and others to develop the policy,” the release explained, adding that the GNWT also “strongly” encourages “all public servants and NWT residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19.”

Minister of Finance, Caroline Wawzonek, said in a statement that “as the NWT’s largest employer, the GNWT is committed to playing a leadership role in its response to COVID-19 by making decisions that protect the health and safety of the territory’s public servants and the communities in which they live.”

“Although this policy applies specifically to employees and contractors providing services to vulnerable members of the public, we urge all of our employees to get vaccinated. A vaccinated public service will help protect all of our residents and communities, allowing us to provide the service and support NWT residents rely on us for,” she added.

If you have any information, story ideas or news tips for The Lawyer’s Daily please contact Amanda Jerome at Amanda.Jerome@lexisnexis.ca or call 416-524-2152.