Konge compares pandemic measures to racial segregation

The Black Advocacy Coalition Up North demanded an apology from Coun. Niels Konge after he compared measures limiting access to public spaces for the unvaccinated to the racial segregation of public transport in the Jim Crow-era American South.

The group said it was “shocked and disappointed” by the comparison, and demanded that Konge immediately make a public apology to the Black community.

The city councillor later apologized publicly for his remarks.

Proof of vaccination for city services

Yellowknife’s city council voted to mandate vaccine passports at public facilities in order to increase their capacity.

Council voted 5-4 in favour of the policy after more than 300 residents wrote in on the subject.

At the time, 88 per cent of Yellowknifers over the age of 12 were fully vaccinated.

Assembly of First Nations regional chief Norman Yakeleya called for the “Every Child Matters” flag to be flown alongside the Canadian flag. NNSL file photo

Calls to fly ‘Every Child Matters’ flag

The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) called for the “Every Child Matters” flag to be flown alongside the Canadian flag.

Norman Yakeleya, regional chief with the AFN, proposed the idea as an alternative to flying the Canadian flag at half-mast.

At the time, the Canadian flag had been flying at half-mast for the longest period in its history in recognition of the remains of children that were found in and around residential schools across the country earlier in 2021.

Proposed Yellowknife parkade ruled ‘not feasible’

A proposed parking facility that would have added between 180 and 200 spaces to downtown Yellowknife was “not feasible,” according to a study commissioned by the city.

The study found that during peak hours, just 69 per cent of the city’s 4,600 parking spaces were occupied.

The proposed parkade would have cost between $11 and $16 million.

Norn refuses to step down

In a press conference on Nov. 18, MLA Steve Norn said he intended to continue attending assembly sittings despite mounting controversies around his conduct.

The previous day, the sole adjudicator investigating allegations of misconduct against Norn recommended that the member for Tu Nedhé-Wiilideh be removed from his position and his seat declared vacant after he was found to have violated a mandatory Covid-19 quarantine in April.

Norn said the violation, which he attributed to confusion about the rules, was “just not enough to lose your job over.”

Stanton closes obstetrics unit

The Department of Health and Social Services announced on Nov. 22 that Stanton Territorial Hospital would have to close its obstetrics unit for more than two months between Dec. 10 and Feb. 21.

All patients who were scheduled to give birth during that time would instead be transferred to Edmonton.

The department said a staffing shortage was to blame for the closure.

Norn kicked out of assembly

MLA Steve Norn was unanimously voted out of the Legislative Assembly by his colleagues on Nov. 23.

His dismissal came after multiple allegations of misconduct, including violating a mandatory Covid-19 quarantine and threatening his Legislative Assembly colleagues.

Norn announced his resignation prior to the vote, but Speaker of the House Frederick Blake Jr. ruled that the vote should proceed anyway.

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