N.W.T. extends state of emergency in Yellowknife

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N.W.T.'s minister of Municipal and Community Affairs is extending a state of emergency in Yellowknife.

Paulie Chinna made the extension under the territory's Emergency Management Act, according to a government press release Thursday.

The extension continues through Jan. 14, 2021 and will be extended "for as long as it is required," the release said.

The state of emergency in the territory's capital was initially instated in early November to allow the territorial government to acquire the mine safety building — better known as the former home of the SideDoor youth centre — and convert it into a shelter for people experiencing homelessness in Yellowknife.

CBC
CBC

The extraordinary decision came after the territory had been scrambling for months to find more space in the city. Current public health orders have limited the number of people who can stay at the city's day shelter, creating the need for a second space.

Using the SideDoor was previously rejected by Yellowknife city council in the summer, after surrounding businesses said they were worried it would drive away customers.