The Government of Canada announced on Friday that it will be providing further funding assistance to the Northwest Territories to help recover the economy and support the health of residents following Covid-19.
The federal government announced in a news release on Oct. 9 that the Northwest Territories will receive more than $12.2 million in top-up funding. The funding will go toward helping strengthen already existing supports for vulnerable people in the territory, the release states.
The new monies represent additional funding that the NWT has received from the Safe Restart program.
In September, the federal government allotted nearly $15 million as part of Safe Restart Agreement, which aims to assist various health care services including capacity, contact tracing, securing personal protective equipment, and protecting vulnerable populations in long-term care facilities, among others.
Funding for air carriers
The federal government also stated in Friday’s announcement that the NWT will receive $17.1 million to assist air carriers in the NWT.
This includes funding for enhanced air service so that people in remote communities get access to food, equipment and medicine in a reliable and timely manner, states the release.
All three territories
Friday’s release states that all three northern territories are receiving top-up funds of more than $37 million. This money will go to provide assistance to remote communities with health care services such as for isolation centres, infection prevention and control training for staff, support to community shelters and helping with operational costs.
The release also states that all three territories are receiving $41.41 million for air carriers to help provide reliable air service to remote northern communities.
Dominic LeBlanc, president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and minister of International Affairs made Friday’s announcement.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government has been working hand in hand with territories and provinces,” LeBlanc stated in the release.
“We know the Northwest Territories face unique challenges due to Covid-19, and we will continue to work closely with the territorial government to offer the funding and the support to meet those needs. We will continue to ensure no one is left behind as, together, we build a stronger and more resilient Canada.”
Premier Caroline Cochrane stated in the release that the money will assist the territorial government as it prepares for a second wave of virus.
“The Northern component of the Safe Restart Agreement is another example of the strong and collaborative efforts of the federal, provincial and territorial governments to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” she stated.
“This agreement will provide the Government of the Northwest Territories with additional funding to continue to protect public health and safety, prepare for a potential second wave of COVID-19, and support our communities. Our government is serious about protecting its residents and will use these resources to help achieve that goal.”
Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories stated that the money will help all residents in the NWT including those in smaller communities.
“I am proud to be a part of a government that recognizes the unique needs of the North in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic,” he stated. “This funding demonstrates the shared commitment to ensure that everyone in the Northwest Territories – including those in our most remote communities – continue to have critical access to essential goods, medicine and medical support.
“Together, we’re laying the groundwork for our economic recovery while keeping the health and safety of all Northerners a priority.”