If any of Nunavut’s schools is going to close to due concerns over coronavirus COVID-19, it’s going to be by direction of the territory’s chief medical officer, Education Minister David Joanasie said in the legislative assembly on Thursday.

“We do not want to cause people to panic,” Education Minister David Joanasie says.
photo courtesy of the legislative assembly

In the meantime, janitors and cleaners in educational facilities “will be told how important it is to keep it even cleaner,” said Joanasie.

Rankin Inlet North-Chesterfield Inlet MLA Cathy Towtongie pointed out that the Arctic Winter Games have been cancelled and asked whether sports activities at various schools will also be abandoned.

Joanasie replied, “We will try and keep the communities informed about COVID-19 and how much it is spreading. We do not want to cause people to panic, and each community or school should make up their own mind on what they want if there is going to be a big
competition happening in the community.

“For example, the district education authorities can make a decision regarding after school
hours and to allow people to use the school gym during night time,” the minister said. “They have the right to refuse those requests as well. That is their authority as managers. We are going to leave the decision up to them, and once we hear something we will convey the message on to them.”

Join the Conversation


  1. The teachers may close the school for the government by quitting or using sick days if the government fails to act.

  2. F or each community and school to make up their own mind? Seriously?
    This is a virus that kills people and is extremely contagious. Students go to school and become exposed and in some cases live in multiple family households. There are no medical facilities in most communities that could even slightly accommodate the influx, let alone a doctor. There are elders and people with breathing issues. One case will devastate a community. Why is Nunavut taking a reaction stance than a preventative one?
    Let’s not leave it up to whomever and say it changes per community. Set some guidelines! The rest of Canada already is!!

  3. Identification ten T error. Tragically typical of Nunavuts dysfunctional government and philosophy. “Walk the talk” Always contradictions and hypocrisy!

  4. Yeah. Because the DEA’s are so well equipped to make decisions like this. Some can barely keep it together to have a meeting. And, many schools don’t have a regular custodian. Is this going to fall on teachers?? What a joke. Meanwhile, it will be the elders and people with compromised immune systems who suffer.

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