Canadian North receives over $5 million to continue essential services

Screen capture of a Canadian North video showing off the new design on its planes.

Canadian North airline will receive over $5 million from the Government of the Northwest Territories to continue providing services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Despite the loss of passenger volumes, we have continued to serve the needs of the communities to the best of our abilities for the last two months since the start of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Dan Valin, spokesperson for Canadian North, in an email.

The support comes as part of the $130 million the federal government is providing to the NWT for support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It would not, and will not, be possible to maintain this service without ongoing support from all levels of government,” Valin said.

Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek announced the territory will dedicate $8.7 million to the airline industry to ensure companies will provide essential goods and services to communities — including food and medical supplies.

Five airlines in total are being granted funding with Canadian North receiving the bulk of the money at $5,372,000.

The other airlines include Air Tindi which is receiving $1,565,000, Northwestern Air Lease, $793,000, North Wright Airways, $589,000 and Aklak Air, $381,000.

“This funding is designed to ensure that NWT’s  scheduled passenger air carriers can continue to operate during the  COVID-19 pandemic without the need to increase costs for consumers.  I  know there is still more need within our airline industry and I look  forward to working with Transport Canada and CIRNAC to ensure that we  maintain our connections to all communities at this critical time,” Wawzonek said in a media release.

The funding comes in addition to the territory waiving landing fees, as well as leases, licences and concession fees for all businesses operating at NWT airports. The media release said these supports are expected to save NWT’s aviation businesses approximately $2 million.

“Aviation businesses are a critical part of our economy, and our way of  life in the North. NWT residents and businesses rely on the aviation  industry to keep us connected and to deliver essential supplies into  our communities,” Wawzonek said.

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Luke Carroll
Luke Carroll is a journalist originally from Brockville, Ont. He has previously worked as a reporter and editor in Ottawa, Halifax and New Brunswick. Luke is a graduate of Carleton University's bachelor of journalism program. If you have a story idea, feel free to send him an email at