The Yellowknife Chamber of Commerce is asking the GNWT to provide transparent criteria and metrics that will give businesses the information they need to plan their operations over the coming months.
The Chamber has made this request in part because of the success of the GNWT’s vaccination campaign, where more than 12,000 people have already been fully vaccinated.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, the Chamber has been lobbying for statements that outline milestones and key indicators for gradually easing restrictions within the NWT,” says Chamber President Tim Syer.
In a letter sent to Premier Caroline Cochrane, Syer says the current approach of case-by-case exemptions and vague announcements that do not provide clarity or certainty for businesses lacks transparency and accountability.
“We’re asking the GNWT to establish specific, measurable, standards so businesses have greater certainty for operational planning purposes,” he adds.
Syer says businesses need time to re-hire and train staff to accommodate increased capacity, they need to make investments in inventory, supplies and equipment repairs.
“We want to avoid a situation where there’s a surprise announcement that restrictions are eased, and businesses are left scrambling to adapt,” he adds.
Syer says businesses have been at the front line of implementing public health orders and have been adaptive, responsive, and responsible throughout the process.
“They deserve to understand the conditions that must be met to remove capacity restrictions on outdoor gatherings; increase indoor capacity limits; establish travel bubbles with other safe Canadian jurisdictions; and welcome tourists back into the NWT without the current self-isolation requirements.”
True North FM has reached out to the Premier for a comment and she has yet to respond.