In a press conference this morning, NWT Minister of Finance Caroline Wawzonek announced the 2nd wave of funding and financial relief to battle the economic impact of COVID 19 in the territory.

This second wave is made up of approximately $8.2 Million in additional economic relief to the region.

New changes and updates to the NWT Income assistance program;

  • 1 time emergency allowance to income assistance recipients that will provide 500 dollars to single recipients and 1000 dollars to households with 2 or more people to insure enough supplies are available to account for a 2 week isolation period.
  • GNWT will be excluding gifts and unearned income form the calculation of earned income till June 30th 2020
  • These changes take place to ensure income assistance clients will be able to keep whatever money they make over the next several months.

NWT Housing Corporation changes and updates;

  • The NWTHC has identified $5 Million to provide assistance to people who are homeless or are having housing instability.
  • This includes $1.4 million for the development of 36 units at Aspen Apartments and 25 units at the Arnica Inn.
  • $3.6 million will be directed to renovating 130 units outside of Yellowknife and across the NWT.

Government of NWT will be waving Interest charges on all late tax returns between March 15th and June 30th including fuel tax and payroll tax.

NWT Liquor and Cannabis Commission will offer to buy back all unopened alcohol stock from licensed stores and hotels.

And in support of the NWT’s aviation sector the Premier announced the waiving of lease, license and concession fees for all NWT airports starting April 1st until the end of June.

Minister Wawzonek also commented on the Territory’s state of emergency saying that the introduction of the territory’s first state of emergency was to be able to better rally resources to ensure control over the spread of the virus in the NWT.

In terms of extending the order however, the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Katrina Nokleby said as the situation evolves and factors start changing rapidly we would have to address the extension on a more day by day basis.

Wawzonek also noted that the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Paulie Chinna and the Deputy Premier/Minister of Health and Social Service Diane Thom will be in Yellowknife this week to discuss these matters in further detail.