Rural Councillor Claims Over 500 Fort Chipewyan Residents Have Received First COVID-19 Vaccine

Everyone living in Fort Chipewyan who wanted a COVID-19 vaccine has received their first shot.

That’s according to Bruce Inglis, Councillor for the rural hamlets north of Fort McMurray, who says the community was given top priority due to the devastating impact the virus could have on the isolated community.

He claims over 500 individuals got the vaccine over the past two weeks.

Inglis says the community’s elders really helped drive up the total.

“I feel there was a little bit of insecurity, unsureness in some of the population but after the role the elders played, the leadership they gave us,  it convinced folks that it was beneficial.”

Despite receiving the first of two doses, Inglis notes the majority of people in the community continue to follow all COVID-19 measures.

There were concerns at the beginning of the pandemic around youth continuing to gather which resulted in community leadership imposing a curfew.

“I still see people following the guidelines put forward by Alberta Health very carefully, the masking is still going on, the social distancing is still going on,” added Inglis.

According to the RMWB, all the information they have on the vaccine deployment in Fort Chipewyan comes from Inglis who lives in the community.

The second round is expected to start in early March.

Fort Chipewyan Wharf

Wood Buffalo council is once again demanding the federal government continue taking care of the community’s wharf.

Also known as the Big Dock, it’s an access point to the hamlet where they get supplies, business, and more, however, it has received very little maintenance.

The RMWB has been advocating for the wharf since 2018 after discussions with community leaders, however, nothing has come from it.

Chief Administrative Officer Jamie Doyle says it seems the federal government is just trying to get the municipality to take over all work around the dock.

“I think it’s about time that other levels of government stop pushing jurisdiction down on us which rightly belongs with them.”

Meanwhile, council also approved updating the land use bylaw to allow the hamlet to add another cemetery as there’s  limited capacity within the existing one.

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