OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 9, 2020 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada continues to work with provinces and territories to ensure fundamental supports are in place to continue to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, and to ensure that jurisdictions have what they need to gradually and safely restart their economies.
With the Safe Restart Agreement, federal, provincial and territorial governments recognize that smaller jurisdictions face distinct challenges and circumstances.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, announced over $12.2 million in top-up funding for the Northwest Territories. This investment—supplemental funding under the Safe Restart Agreement—will help strengthen those supports available to the people of the Northwest Territories, particularly the most vulnerable, as part of the ongoing national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government of Canada is also investing up to $17.1 million for air carriers in the territory. Support for enhanced air service will ensure that food, equipment and medicine reach people living in remote communities in a reliable and timely manner.
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, the federal government has been working hand in hand with territories and provinces. 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."
– Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, President of the Queen's Privy Council of Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
"Air carriers are vital for the well-being and livelihood of people who live in remote communities. Funding air carriers so the Government of the Northwest Territories can support essential travel and deliver essential goods is another example of how our government is committed to keeping all Canadians safe and healthy during this pandemic."
– The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport
"The government has been working with the territories to address the unique and critical needs of Northerners. These supports will ensure that residents of Northwest Territories have what they need to get through the COVID-19 pandemic. From access to health services, to the continuation of the supply chain through air supports, we are taking actions to help Northerners when they need it most."
– The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs
"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. 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."
– The Honourable Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories
"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. 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."
– Micheal V. McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories
On July 16, the government of Canada announced the Safe Restart Agreement—an investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies.
As part of its ongoing collaboration with, and support to territorial governments, the Government of Canada recently increased the territorial borrowing limits for all three Territories.
In April, the Government of Canada announced approximately $130 million in support to address immediate health, economic, and transportation needs in the North.
Safe Restart funding top-ups for Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut
When the Safe Restart Agreement was finalized in July, First Ministers recognized that smaller jurisdictions face distinct challenges and circumstances. The Government of Canada committed to providing additional support to the territories.
Under this agreement, the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut will receive supplemental top-up funds of over $37 million for health care services and to support remote populations. These services and supports can include isolation centres, infection prevention and control training for staff, support to community shelters, as well as covering increased operational costs.
This funding is allocated based on the approach taken under the Gas Tax Formula and increases each of the territories' population share to 0.75 per cent.
In addition to this, the territories will receive up to $41.41 million in support for air carriers to ensure reliable air service to remote communities. This is on top of the $17.3 million investment for northern air carriers announced on April 14 and reflects part of the $75 million in funding to support essential air access to remote communities, announced on August 6.
The top-up payments were provided at the same time as the first Safe Restart Agreement payment on September 30, 2020.
SOURCE Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
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