N.W.T. lays 1st charge for violating public health order amid confusion over border rules

Simply days after the territory’s premier stunned residents by suggesting travellers from southern Canada would be welcomed to the N.W.T., well being authorities have levied the primary ever positive for breaching a public well being order on a person who travelled to the territory from Alberta Wednesday.

An Alberta resident, unidentified in a information launch despatched Thursday afternoon, “didn’t cease on the checkpoint on Freeway 1 on the 60th Parallel to offer info to, and obtain steering from, peace officers as-required.”

“They drove previous at high-speed and continued travelling towards Hay River with none plan to self-isolate,” the discharge reads.

Border officers contacted the RCMP, who pulled the driving force over. In flip, RCMP contacted the territory’s public well being enforcement activity pressure to problem a “abstract offence ticket” for $1,725 on June 10.

A spokesperson for the territorial authorities confirmed it is the primary such ticket to be issued within the territory.

An RCMP launch additionally despatched Thursday states a 25-year outdated male was working a stolen car that was unregistered and uninsured, and was “in contravention of hashish possession legal guidelines.”

RCMP impounded the car and transported the person to Excessive Stage, “as they might be in a greater place to get help in getting house,” the discharge from well being authorities concludes.

Interpretation, enforceability of journey restriction unclear

The federal government’s launch specifies the authorized grounding for the ticket is that the individual violated orders “prohibiting journey to or from any space inside the Northwest Territories throughout a public well being emergency.”

However the interpretation of a public well being order banning journey to the territory made March 21 has been up within the air since Premier Caroline Cochrane suggested in a CBC News Network interview that vacationers from southern Canada would as soon as once more be welcome within the territory.

Previous to the interview, well being officers repeatedly knowledgeable residents that non-essential journey to the territory was prohibited.

On Wednesday, a joint statement from Cochrane, Well being Minister Diane Thom and Chief Public Well being Officer Kami Kandola tried to make clear the state of affairs.

“Travellers have the chance to voluntarily flip round,” the assertion learn. “In the event that they select to not, they’re knowledgeable that they have to search an distinctive circumstances exemption, and instantly self-isolate in the event that they want to proceed additional within the N.W.T.”

The assertion stated the territory’s enforcement officers have been working with that new interpretation of the general public well being order since Could 29 — almost two weeks previous to Cochrane’s interview and the primary public acknowledgement of the change.

The change, based on the assertion, was made to “extra carefully align implementation of the order with the mobility provisions of the Canadian Constitution of Rights and Freedoms.”

Since late Could, the Canadian Civil Liberties Affiliation has been threatening territories and provinces with charter challenges for legal guidelines prohibiting home journey.

“With respect, there isn’t any proof {that a} whole ban on some people getting into the territory will be justified when much less restrictive measures might clearly obtain the identical public well being targets,” reads the letter addressed to Justice Minister Caroline Wawzonek.

It is not instantly clear whether or not this ticket might open the territory to a constitutional problem.

On Could 20, Conrad Baetz, the N.W.T.’s head of enforcement, said in an interview with CBC that any ticket issued by a public well being officer would have the ability to rise up in court docket.

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