“While we continue to work together to limit the spread of COVID-19, we must also ensure remote communities continue to have the air connectivity they need for essential goods and services, travel, and business. Our agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories will allow for reliable air services to keep remote communities in the Northwest Territories connected to the rest of the country,” states federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau.
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on the remote communities that depend on small air carriers for essential goods, services, and access in and out of the community.
NWT Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek states, “This funding demonstrates the shared commitment of the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Canada to ensure that all Canadians—including those in our most remote communities—continue to have access to essential goods and services throughout the pandemic. I would like to thank the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau; the Minister of Northern Affairs; the Honourable Daniel Vandal; and the Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Marc Miller for their ongoing commitment to the residents, businesses and community of the Northwest Territories.”
As the pandemic continues to evolve, the Government of Canada is working with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners, and the air industry to address the unique needs of these communities.
Today, Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau; the Minister of Northern Affairs Daniel Vandal; and Minister of Finance for the Government of the Northwest Territories Caroline Wawzonek, announced a new agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories to support essential air access to remote communities.
The Government of Canada is contributing up to $17.1 million to ensure continuity of service for at least six months and up to 18 months if necessary. The Government of the Northwest Territories is also providing up to $3 million through this agreement.
Under this agreement, the Government of the Northwest Territories will determine minimum levels of essential services to remote communities and allocate funding to air operators to ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods and services to these communities.