No flu in North

The Northwest Territories was completely clear of detected cases of the flu through to the start of February.

The flu non-season was attributed to the public health measures taken in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“One of the things we’ve learned from Covid is that washing your hands, staying home when you’re sick, wearting a mask, these are all really good public health measures that you should continue even when the pandemic eases,” chief public health officer Dr. Kami Kandola said.

Omar Hajam had all the necessary equipment for a game of shinny on the new outdoor rink in Old Town on a sunny Jan. 30 – skates, hockey stick, hockey gloves and sunglasses. NNSL file photo

NWT track championships cancelled again

The NWT Track and Field Championships were scrapped for a second year.

“We generally get about 20 to 25 kids in one room and they’re all close to each other,” an organizer said of the standard sleeping arrangements for students. “That’s so dangerous, especially now.”

Tim Borchuk took no pleasure in the decision, saying track and field is “synonymous with Hay River.”

Dump fire still burning money

Prove it, deputy Mayor Robert Bouchard said to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board.

The regulatory body tied a $40,000 study to the renewal of the town’s 10-year water licence. The study’s topic? The effect of the extinguishing of the March 2019 dump fire, which is to say the dump fire that burned for most of March, 2019.

“We’ve tested,” Bouchard said. “We had no issues with the water when the fire was going on and after the water had been dumped on there. We just about have to have a full-time person dealing with this water licence now because they think it’s an issue, but it’s not an issue. They haven’t proven anything to be an issue.”

Anthony Beck of Hay River heads towards Hay River on Feb. 1 during the Aurora Ford Classic dog race along Highway 2, while following closely behind is Trista Beck of Yellowknife. NNSL file photo

Wally won’t run

Former cabinet minister Wally Schumann ruled out a run for MP as a Conservative. As it turned out, Schumann had other irons in the fire. He was named an advisor to new owners of the Ekati diamond mine, Arctic Canadian Diamond Company Ltd., weeks later.

“I’ve made up my mind that the work that I’m doing in the private sector is more valuable to the Northwest Territories than running for the Conservative party.”

Wawzonek won’t commit

Caroline Wawzonek, minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, made it clear that the highway between Behchoko and Yellowknife was first in line for cell phone coverage.

Frieda Martselos, MLA for Thebacha, was grilling her in the legislature on getting similar coverage on the 273 kilometres of Highway 5 that connects Hay River and Fort Smith.

“In this day and age, I think we have reached a point where this is considered critical infrastructure and building it ought to be a no-brainer.”

Wawzonek said they were going to study the North Slave stretch first.

“Once we have that in hand, we can start to look at other stretches of highway in the Northwest Territories.”

Keira Durocher, a 10-year-old Grade 5 student at Princess Alexandra School, models a sample of the kinds of T-shirts that were to be worn at the school on Feb. 22 – Pink Shirt Day – to raise awareness about bullying. NNSL file photo

Craig Gilbert

Craig is an award-winning journalist who has worked in Ontario, the Northwest Territories, British Columbia and Alberta. He should be at least six feet away from you at all times.

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