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Most GNWT phones, websites will go down overnight this weekend


The NWT government says a “critical” system upgrade will knock most of its phones, websites, and email addresses offline overnight this weekend.

With a few exceptions, it’ll be impossible to contact the territorial government using the web or a landline between Saturday, May 15 at 10:30pm and Sunday, May 16 at 7am. Cell services will be unaffected, the GNWT said.

The main switchboard number at Yellowknife’s Stanton Territorial Hospital will remain in service – (867) 669-4111 – as will Inuvik hospital’s phone line and 8-1-1, the Protect NWT hotline.

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The 9-1-1 emergency number should be unaffected for most of the outage, but the NWT government warned there will be “two short periods lasting a few minutes each” when there might be a short delay in answering.

“Backup plans have been established for other critical services, in consultation with GNWT and emergency operations groups,” the territory said in a news release.

The GNWT said it had timed the outage for “non-peak web traffic hours … deliberately chosen to cause the least disruption to the public.” The territory is currently managing both a Covid-19 outbreak in Yellowknife and flooding across the Dehcho, with the threat of more flooding from the Sahtu to Aklavik in the days ahead.

Social media channels belonging to the NWT government won’t be affected, the territory said, and will carry updates on flooding or Covid-19 while other systems are offline.

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