Fears for staff safety lead to closure of Kinngait wellness centre

Offices have been closed since Feb. 23; GN cites break-in, ‘escalation of events’ for decision

Family wellness offices in Kinngait have been closed since Feb. 23 and will continue to be for the time being, the Government of Nunavut Department of Family Services stated. Emergency services will still be available but there are limited staff resources. (File photo)

By Nunatsiaq News

This article was updated Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 4:45 p.m.

Fears over staff safety have led to the closure of Kinngait’s family wellness offices.

An “escalation of events including the office being broken into” led to the decision, a Department of Family Services spokesperson said in an email to Nunatsiaq News Tuesday afternoon.

Asked to provide further details to explain the “escalation of events,” the spokesperson declined.

RCMP did not immediately respond to Nunatsiaq News’ request for information.

The closure took effect Feb. 23 but was only publicly announced Tuesday morning by the department in a news release that cited “staff safety concerns” without further detail.

The offices are expected to remain closed until further notice, according to the news release.

Emergency services are still available but there are limited staff resources, the release indicated. Calls will continue to go through to the offices, but there may be delays.

The department stated it is working with other agencies to ensure people have access to services during the closure while addressing its safety concerns.

Note: This article was updated to include further information on incidents that led to the wellness centre closure

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(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by Tumbleweed on

    Only place where government stays quiet on issues that would be of interest to the public or do not bother with requests for access to information is NU and maybe a few dictatorships, oligarchies and banana republics. Just admit it.

    • Posted by hermann kliest on

      Or shit’te or Pol Pot regime (followers) from the community? This community have had very unruly ppl at times in the past. Some workers have right to be scared….

  2. Posted by Northerner on

    Staff safety concerns , more details please !

    • Posted by Less details on

      They stay quiet because they don’t want bad publicity. They go to job fairs down south to attract young inspired minds with promises of a cultural experience filled with igloos, camping and bonfires, but the reality of a front line professional is quite the opposite. Expected to be ready to work 24/7 while everyone else in the community is out having fun, no thaks.

      Teachers, nurses and social workers deserve nothing but respect but most of them can’t survive more than a few months in the north because they cannot simply ignore the constant harassment, abuse and threats.

      Igloos and bonfires.

      • Posted by Social workers educated in Nunavut on

        There are lots of Inuk students getting educated in Social work at Nunavut Arctic College, but it is hard for them to get jobs because these ppl think they know what is best for the poor Inuit, also these ppl only come here for an adventure and are not interested in helping, just want to make a dollar off of our trauma. This is one of the reasons why we have such high turn around rates for workers from the south, but no…” Inuit don’t know how to help one another” and that is why they are not hiring the Inuit who went to school and got their education in social work…

        • Posted by Not Producing Enough to Meet Demand on


          Three of the five graduating in March are Nunavut Inuit. The other two are long-term Nunavut residents. Given the 25% per year burn-out rate among social workers we need to produce a lot more than that every year to meet demand.

    • Posted by Ben Decko on

      According to a study by Statistics Canada, Nunavut is the most violent place to live in Canada.

      • Posted by Inuk from Nunavik on

        I thought , it was Nunavik .

        • Posted by The Numbers Vary on

          The way that I’ve read the stats it bounces around between the two, with Nunavut ‘winning’ the last that I saw.

          Regardless, Nunavut is a violent place.

      • Posted by eskimo joe on

        In Canada? whoa, have you ever been too North Battlefort, Sask. Or Thompson MB? I have and I feared for my life. Nunavut is a paradise compared to these two mentioned towns in Canada….A Paradise, because these two mentioned towns; cowboys and Indians are still much in evidence, violence in tune with; will very violence, I don’t know how to put into words….

  3. Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

    Like the Health Clinic in Kugluktuk, it appears Kingait requires a security guard on site.

    And we ask why people don’t want to work at these healthcare places.

    There are some people around Nunavut that need to be taken out behind the old woodshed for a lesson.

    • Posted by Already in place on

      They have had security for 5 or 6 years now

      I think we need some investigative journalism. This is the government all this stuff is subject to access to information.


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