NWT MP Michael McLeod announced today that the NWT now has the option to allocate up to $57,077,683, representing 10% of its total allocation under the Investing in Canada infrastructure program, towards projects under a new COVID Resilience funding stream.

This follows the announcement on July 30th by Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, of changes to the program to help address the current health crisis through quick-start, short-term projects.

McLeod noted that ensuring there is flexibility in federal programs is critical to their effectiveness in the North and that through the new COVID Resilience funding stream, the Government of Canada will make it easier to build projects that improve the health, safety, and quality of life of people here in the territories.

“Whether upgrading hospitals, long-term care homes and schools to deal with social distancing requirements, investing in energy efficiency or reliability projects for communities on established electricity grids under the Arctic Energy Fund, these changes will help get more infrastructure projects underway faster, while continuing to support our long-term goals of building sustainable, economically vibrant, low-carbon, and inclusive communities.”

Projects under the new stream will be eligible for a significantly larger federal cost share – up to 80 per cent for provinces, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations in provinces, and raising it to 100 per cent for territorial projects designated under the new stream. In addition to the new time-limited stream, a simplified application process for funding will ensure that projects can get underway as soon as possible.

These changes will benefit communities of all sizes, including rural Canada. In addition, rural and remote communities will have access to mobile and cellular projects that can be completed in the near-term.

To be eligible for funding under the COVID-19 Resilience stream, the project’s eligible costs must be under $10 million, construction must be started no later than September 30, 2021, and it must be completed by the end of 2021 (or by the end of 2022 in the territories and in remote communities).