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Hub 2021 year in review, October

Blue masks, orange t-shirts
Nine of 10 candidates vying for the Town of Hay River council election Oct. 18 appeared in an online debate hosted by Cabin Radio, Oct. 3. Cabin Radio/Facebook screenshot

Blue masks, orange t-shirts

The first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was marked around Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation Sept. 30.

All schools in the area held activities from cooking to drumming to wearing orange t-shirts, including staff and students at Diamond Jenness Secondary School, who encircled the building in a socially distant ring for a drone photo-op.

“As young people, you are our future,” Elder Roy Fabian, a former KFN chief, told students at Chief Sunrise Education Centre. “Hopefully we are going to teach you to be loving, kind respectful and caring for one another.”

Curling returns to Hay River

With three sheets to the wind, action returned to the Hay River Curling Club. During the last season, the club closed the middle sheet to help with social distancing, but this year, the leagues would be firing on all cylinders.

“Last year had been uncertain,” club president Keith Dohey said. “It all worked out all right given the circumstances, but we are hoping to return to normal levels this year.”

Leper versus livelihood

Some public sector employees who don’t want to get the Covid-19 vaccine said they were worried about their way of life.

“I’m deeply disturbed about the notion even coming up,” a veteran Yellowknife Catholic Schools employee said. “I’m not anti-vaccine in any way, shape or form, but I’m just hesitant to have a new vaccine because I feel there isn’t a lot of information on it. You might consider me a reluctant radical, but I feel like I’m still the normal person I was in 2019, prior to all of this.”

Premier Caroline Cochrane urged NWT residents to think of others.

“I know it’s tough on people, but it’s not only about yourselves. It’s not only about choices, but it’s also about people who have no choice that you have to think about,” she said.

Incumbents returned to Hay River council

Karen Wall and Peter Magill, the town’s tourism and economic development coordinator, were elected to town council alongside a slate of returning incumbents.

The incumbents re-elected Oct. 18 included Robert Bouchard, Emily Chambers, Keith Dohey, Linda Duford, Jeff Groenewegen and Brian Willows.

Voter turnout was 29.41 per cent, or 632 votes.

Circuit-breaker lockdown

A two-week circuit-breaker lockdown was imposed in Hay River as Covid-19 continued to spread.

Outdoor gatherings were limited to 25, indoor gatherings were capped at 10.

On Oct. 20, four of the five schools in the area had cases, there were 24 Covid-19 cases in total between Hay River and Kátł’odeeche First Nation (KFN). There were 207 active cases in the NWT on Oct. 26.