South Slave

Fort Smith’s highway checkpoint will disappear on August 1

The pandemic checkpoint between the NWT and Alberta outside Fort Smith will be dismantled on August 1, the territorial government said on Wednesday.

July 31 will be the checkpoint’s last full day in service. At the moment, a system of passes allows residents of the communities on either side to pass freely between the territory and the province.

In theory, the checkpoint exists to ensure people from the rest of Alberta and beyond cannot easily enter the Northwest Territories at a time when many travellers are still required to isolate and provide a reason for crossing the border.


In practice, however, the border was rarely if ever staffed around the clock and existed more as a demonstration of intent than a watertight public health measure.

The NWT government said on Wednesday the checkpoint was no longer required in part because Fort Smith has one of the highest vaccination rates in the territory. The pass system will disappear once the checkpoint is no longer in service.

Meanwhile, the territory is understood to be separately working on a plan to reopen Highway 7 between Fort Liard and BC, though no firm date has so far been given.