Federal government announces northern funding for COVID-19

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced more than $125 million in funding to help the territories during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funding is allocated to four areas:

  • $72.6 million for health and social services
  • Up to $17.3 million for air carriers to help with food supply, medical supplies, and other essential goods in remote communities
  • $25 million for Nutrition North to increase subsidies
  • $15 million in non-repayable funds for local businesses through the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

The federal government says this money is in addition to the $500 million already given to provinces and territories and the $305 million earmarked for Indigenous communities across Canada.

“Our government has been working with northern and Indigenous partners to address the unique and critical needs of Northerners,” said Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal in a statement.

Below is the territorial breakdown of the funds.

  • NWT: $23.4 million for health and social services, and $8.7 million for air services
  • Nunavut: $30.8 million for Nunavut and up to $5 million for air services
  • Yukon: $18.4 million for Yukon and $3.6 million for air services

According to a federal government news release, the territorial governments will manage the contracts with the air carriers so they can “maintain a basic network of routes and services to provide access to critical goods to fly-in communities in the North.”

The funding for local businesses is to offset operating costs not covered by other relief programs.

About the Author

Francis Tessier-Burns
Francis was a reporter with CKLB from January 2019 to March 2023. In his time with CKLB, he had the immense pleasure and honour of learning about northern Indigenous cultures.