The Department of Finance has postponed the release of a review of its Covid-19 response, originally expected to be completed by fall 2022.
When asked what was causing the delay, Todd Sasaki, manager of public affairs and communications for the Department of Finance, said that more time is needed to complete the review.
“The GNWT is finalizing a report and recommendations from the Covid-19 review and plans to release results in Feb 2023 after discussion with Indigenous governments,” Sasaki stated.
No further details were provided on why the GNWT is unable to meet the original deadline.
The GNWT said on its website last year that it would review its internal operational management of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Department of Finance has been gathering information so it would be ready for any future public health emergencies by helping to develop proposed amendments to existing NWT laws, and to better manage its responses in future crises.
The department has also been seeking input from the public, leadership from Indigenous governments and community governments, members of the legislative assembly, members of the NWT executive council and senior officials with the GNWT.
The review will focus on operational responses to the Covid-19 pandemic by the GNWT from March 2020 to April 2022, with recommendations on how to proceed in the future. It will also examine who made what decisions and why they were made, in addition to how well the GNWT communicated with the public, community governments and Indigenous governments throughout the pandemic.
“Every single person in the Northwest Territories was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said NWT Premier Caroline Cochrane. “As a government, it’s important we look back and review how our response to the pandemic was managed to ensure we understand where we succeeded, and where we need to take action to make improvements.
“By engaging with and listening to the experiences of the people of the Northwest Territories, we will be able to ensure we are better prepared for future public health emergencies.”
Public input for this review has been closed since Aug. 15.
The GNWT lifted its public health emergency and the indoor mask mandate on April 1, 2022.