GNWT announces $8.2 million to support people, businesses and communities in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek at a press conference. (Francis Tessier-Burns/CKLB)

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) announced an additional $8.259 million today to help businesses and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Finance and Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Infrastructure and Industry, Tourism and Investment said the funds are in addition to the $13.2 million relief package announced earlier this month by the government.

“The Northwest Territories is already feeling the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the GNWT is committed to doing our part to ensure the economic well-being of our residents is addressed during this difficult time,”  Wawzonek said. “This comprehensive set of activities will assist everyone in the NWT, no matter where they live, their income, or their job, so they can play their part in the response to COVID-19.”

The GNWT released the first wave of support for NWT residents, businesses and communities on March 20.

Today’s announcement for the second wave of funding includes:

  • 5 million to create temporary housing for the homeless to self-isolate.
  • $1.5 million for aviation businesses, taxi and rental car businesses, tourism and service businesses.
  • $1.617 million in income assistance. This will grant a one-time emergency allowance that will give increased support for recipients — $500 for a single recipient, or $1,000 for households with two or more people. This will ensure residents have a 14 day supply and are prepared for self-isolation.
  • $270,000 in additional benefits to income assistance for clients.
  • NWT Liquor and Cannabis Commission will offer to buy back all unopened inventory from licensed stores.
  • All seniors enrolled in the Senior Home Heating Subsidy will be automatically registered into the current year.
  • Waiver of interest charges on all late tax returns between March 15 and June 30.

“COVID-19 has already had a significant impact on the Northwest Territories’ economy and our government will continue to put supports in place to help businesses and individuals through this difficult time,” Nokleby said. “The aviation sector, a critical piece of our territorial supply chain, has been especially impacted. So, including the aircraft landing fees already waived, almost $1 million in GNWT financial relief will be provided to help support critical aviation businesses that our communities and economy rely upon.”

Economic support measures announced by the GNWT today are intended to complement financial supports implemented by the Government of Canada.

About the Author

Arthur C. Green
Arthur C. Green is from Whitbourne Newfoundland and graduated from the CNA Journalism Program. Arthur also studied Business Marketing and Political Science at Memorial University in Essex England and St. John's Newfoundland. Green has worked as a spot news photographer/journalist with such news organizations as Vista-radio, CBC, CBC Radio, NTV, Saltwire and Postmedia in Alberta.