Letter to the editor submitted by reader James Lawrance.
Accountability of the premier and leaders is the issue, not “judging” our fellow citizens or the level of risk created by their travel. The story headlined Don’t judge officials who travelled outside NWT over holidays: Cochrane, I believe comes straight from the cynical “comms” tactic the premier has employed. That’s not the story.
The story is an important one. The premier is evading accountability for her decision and is not being transparent. Her evasion is sabotage to her own recommendations and those of the CPHO. And that creates a public health risk.
If we don’t demand full accounting and transparency now for decisions and actions, when will we? During and after an outbreak? Trust and confidence is damaged by the approach taken so far.
The premier, at least twice, used a contrived “were all in this together” messaging line from her communications people. That’s insulting, since the incident demonstrates the exact opposite. She is showing a lack of judgement on this matter, and she is managing life and death issues. My confidence in this leadership and their ongoing management of the pandemic response is shaken. How will the Premier handle herself in a full-out crisis when she’s fumbling this ball?
The premier must come clean, admit the mistake, and meaningfully reprimand her officials if the situations were not extenuating. A lot (a lot) of money, time, and effort went into restoring trust and confidence by firing a cabinet minister. A minister wasn’t going to kill me as quickly as the virus might.
We should expect a little more time and effort spent in this instance assuring us that leadership is accountable, that we can trust their commitment and judgement and that they will take real action to a better way of operating.
And this sure doesn’t help when it comes to the major issue of trust we have in our territorial society, where Yellowknife is seen as a place where privilege is flaunted and power abused.