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Inuvialuit Regional Corporation calls on Yukon Government and Northwest Territories Government to close the Dempster Highway to all non-essential travel

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) asks both the Northwest Territories and Yukon Governments to close the Dempster Highway to all non-essential travel.

As of today, there are no cases of COVID-19 within either territory, but IRC believes the most sensible action to make is to not allow traffic into the Western Arctic other than essential travellers including residents and commerce. This prevents non-resident travellers from arriving to the Western Arctic potentially carrying the COVID-19 virus.

“We can’t afford to take any chances especially with our already fragile healthcare resources” mentions IRC Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Duane Ningaqsiq Smith. It is now widely known that the NWT has only 13 ventilators all located in Yellowknife and many are not sure of how many test kits available. “If this virus hits the North, it will hit it hard due to overcrowded homes, limited access to proper disinfectant supplies and a fragile healthcare resources”.

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation is very concerned of the COVID-19 rapid spread within Canada and is advocating this measure in the best interest of all Inuvialuit.





Elizabeth Kolb

Communications Advisor

Tel: (867) 678-0540