Canadian government providing nearly $130M to help Arctic territories during pandemic

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addresses Canadians on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. On Tuesday, April 14, the federal government announced more financial support coming for the territories. (The Canadian Press)
The federal government says it’s providing $129.9 million specifically for Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories to not only help with the health-care system’s response to COVID-19, but to provide financial support for northern airlines and other businesses.

In a news release Tuesday, the federal government said $72.6 million of that money will go toward preparation and response in the health and social services departments in all three territories, with $18.4 million for Yukon, $30.8 million for Nunavut and $23.4 million for the N.W.T.

The government says it’s also providing up to $17.3 million for northern airlines to ensure those companies can continue to fly essential goods like food and medical supplies into remote communities.

“No Canadian should ever have to worry about where to get their food or how to receive essential health care services,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is quoted as saying in the release.

In this category, Yukon will receive up to $3.6 million for air services, Nunavut will receive up to $5 million and the N.W.T. will receive up to $8.7 million.

Additional money for businesses, Nutrition North

The federal government says the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency is also providing $15 million in “non-repayable support” for businesses in the territories that have been affected by COVID-19, but don’t qualify for the federal financial support already made available.

The federal government also plans to put an additional $25 million into Nutrition North Canada, a federal subsidy program for food in remote northern communities, to further ensure families can afford food and hygiene products.

Watch: Trudeau announces new funding for territories amid COVID-19 pandemic 

Related stories from around the North:

Arctic: Roundup of COVID-19 responses around the Arctic, Eye on the Arctic

Canada: COVID-19 shouldn’t overshadow ongoing fight against TB, Canadian Inuit leaders say, CBC News

Finland: Visits to commercial establishments down sharply in Finnish Lapland, Google data, Yle News

Greenland: COVID-19: Arctic science expedition postpones flight campaign after trainee tests positive for virus, Eye on the Arctic

Norway: Norwegian Arctic wilderness tourism hit particularly hard by coronavirus, The Independent Barents Observer

Russia: Moscow disinforms about coronavirus, says press freedom organization, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden: Why are Sweden’s politicians taking a different tack for coronavirus?, Radio Sweden

United States: Alaska’s largest rural airline RavnAir could be forced to shut down for good, court docs say, Alaska Public Media

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