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HealthWellnessSmokeInhalation2TuesdayAugust122014NEWSBRIEFSRCMPnotiespublicofproblemswithphonesystemDuetoupgradesearlierthisyearNorthwestTerritoriesRCMParenotifyingthepublicofissueswiththeirphonesystemwhendialingtheOperationalCommunicationsCentreOCC.TheissueoccurswhennooneisavailabletoanswerphonesatindividualdepartmentsandcallsarerelayedtotheOCClocatedinRCMPGDivisionhead-quartersinYellowknife.Duetoanupgradetothephonesystemearlierthisyearthephonesmaynotsoundliketheyareringingtothecaller.RCMPwanttoreassurethepublicthatthosecallsaregettingthroughandofcersdohearaudibleindicatorsontheirendoftheline.SahtuSecretariatsuingfedsoverlandandwaterboardmergersFollowingtheTlichogovernmentsleadtheSahtuSec-retariatandtheSahtuDeneCouncilannouncedlastWednesdayattheirannualgeneralassemblythattheyplantotakethefederalgovernmenttocourtoveritsamendmentstotheMackenzieValleyResourceManage-mentActwhichwillmergetheregionallandandwaterboardsoftheNWTintoonesuperboard.Theregionalboardsresponsibleforreviewingminingandoilandgasdevelopmentproposalswereestablishedthroughnegotiatedlandclaimsandself-governmentagreements.Thecourtdocumentsaretobeledlaterthismonth.NWTdeputyministerofHumanResourcesremovedfromofficeThedeputyministerofHumanResourcesfortheNWTSheilaBassi-Kelletthasbeenremovedfromherposition.Asofyetnoreasonhasbeengivenforherdismissal.Thelong-timegovernmentemployeewasappointedtothejobinNovember2011afterpreviouslyholdingthepositionofassociatedeputyminister.InthemeantimeMichelleBearddirectorofCorporateAffairswiththeterritorialgovernmenthastakenoverthepositionforanundeterminedamountoftime.OnbehalfoftheFortChipewyanHistoricalSocietyWewouldliketosaythankyouwithdeepappreciationtoallofthelocalandindustrysponsorscommunitymembersandvolunteerswhohelpedmakethe2014HeritageDayasuccessThankyoutotheAthabascaChipewyanFirstNationandtheMikisewCreeFirstNationandtheiremployeesfortheuseoftheirequipment.Theset-upandtake-downofthegroundswasawesomeandshowedcommunityspiritinmakingeventsfunandpossible.WemustnotforgettheemceethecooksandvendorswhosuppliedlunchandsupperthedrymeatanddryfishdemonstratorsAuroraSpiritDancersanddrummersandthestaffofESRDParksCanadaHelpingHandstoSuccessandLAYCwhocontributedtothedayssuccessaswellasthephotographersandeveryonewhovolunteeredtheirvaluabletimeinonewayoranother.Weappreciateit.NowlastbutnotbyanymeansleastagreattributetothepersonwhocarriedtheresponsibilityoffundraisingandorganizingthewholeeventPamGibot.Itwouldnothavebeenpossiblewithoutherhardworkanddedication.ThankyouOliverGlanfield.Nolong-termhealthimpactsfromresmokeNWTstopdocByMEAGANWOHLBERGResidentsinYellowknifearebecomingincreasinglyfrustratedwithlevelsofsmokeinthecommunitygen-eratedbynearbyforestresbutthereisntmuchanyonecandoinresponseotherthanstayindoorssaysNWTschiefpublichealthofcer.Dr.AndrCorriveaureit-eratedhisbasicrecommen-dationsfordealingwiththeongoinghazeofnoxiousgasesblanketingYellowknifelastweekvoicingagainthatthebestdefenceforpeopleirritatedbythesmokeistolimitexposureandlookforindoorrecreationalalterna-tivestobeatanysummertimecabinfever.TheadviceIcangivefromapublichealthperspec-tivedoesntreallychangefromwhatsalreadybeensaidsinceMayCorriveausaid.Youhavetocutbackonyourregularphysicalactivitystayindoorsmorelookatthevisibilityoutside.Oureyesandournosearegooddetectorsofsmokeyoudontreallyneedtheairqualityindextoknowhowbaditis.Ifyoucansmellitandfeelitinyoureyesitsalreadyatthelevelthatcancausehealthproblems.Whilesomegroupsinclud-ingpeoplewithrespiratoryandcardiacproblemspreg-nantwomenbabiessmallchildrenandseniorscouldbemoreadverselyimpactedbythesmokeCorriveausaiditisunlikelytohaveanylong-termhealthimpactsonthemajorityofYellowknifersbasedonwhatthemedicalworldknowsaboutsecond-handsmokeexposure.Itsunlikelythathealthypeoplewillfeelanylastinglong-termimpactsbecauseonthegrandscaleofthingsevenifitssixtoeightweeksitsstillsomethingthatourbodiescanhealfromandre-coverCorriveausaid.Ittakesdecadesfordamagetobecomepermanent.MorehospitalvisitsduetosmokeAshandsmokefromforestresonallsidesofthecityhavebeenwaftingthroughYellowknifesstreetsforweeksblockingoutthesunandirritatinglungsnosesandthroats.Thoughsomerainhashelpedtoquelltherethreatthesmallamountsofmoisturehaveonlyservedtoincreasethesmoke.ThethickhazehaspushedtheEnvironmentCanadaairqualityindexwellbeyondthescalewhere10isconsideredanextremehealthhazard-somedaysreaching25-re-sultinginsomepeoplebeingsenthomefromworkandthemajoritystayinginsidewithwindowsclosed.ThoughnonumbersexistrightnowCorriveausaidtherehasbeenanoticeableincreaseinpeoplepresent-ingwithsmoke-relatedprob-lemsatStantonHospitalinYellowknifeandathealthcentresacrosstheterritorywhereotherforestresexist.Itsreallyhavinganef-fecthesaid.MaskspurelycosmeticCorriveausaysWhilesomeresidentshavebeenwanderingaroundYel-lowknifewearingsurgicalmasksCorriveausaidthosearecompletelyineffectiveinlteringthesmoke.Thefineparticlesandsomeofthevapoursthatarenoxiouswillnotbestoppedbyatypicalsurgicalmaskbecausethelterisnotneenoughhesaid.Theyarepurelycosmetic.InsteadthosewhowishtowearmasksareadvisedtopurchaseaN95orN99typemaskthoughsuchmasksmakeithardertobreatheandtypicallyonlyworkfor20to30minutesatatimeonahumidsummerdayCorriveausaid.Betteryetheadvisedthatpeoplewhoarerequiredtoworkoutsideensuretheytakefrequentbreakstoescapethesmoke.Apartfromstayinginsidewhenthesmokeisparticu-larlythickorirritatingCor-riveaurecommendspeoplewithhigh-riskmedicalcon-ditionsconsiderinstallingairpuriersintheirhomes.Thosewhoareonmedicationforconditionslikeasthmamightconsiderseeingahealthprofessionalaboutincreasingtheirdosageifexperiencingheightenedproblems.ForpeoplemissingphysicalactivitytheCityofYellow-knifehasjumpedonboardwiththerecommendationsopeningitseldhousefreeofchargetothegeneralpublicforthewholemonthofAu-gusttoenjoysomesmoke-freeplaytime.Corriveausaidthatsthebestplacetogotowalkorrunwhilethesmokepersists.TheresnothingwecandoagainstMotherNatureatthispoint.Thebestadvicewecanprovideistomitigatetheamountthatyouinhalefol-lowthebasicprecautionsandprayforsteadyraintocomesothoseresgetextinguished.AirqualityinYellowknifehassurpassedlimitsforhealthybreathingbymorethandoubleonseveraloccasionsthissummerduetosmokesootandashblowinginfromnearbyforestres.Onsuchdaysresidentsareadvisedtostayindoors.PhotoBillBraden