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Northwest Territories Economic Support

2020-09-16


Support for Individuals

  • The NWT is introducing a one-time emergency allowance for income assistance recipients that will provide $500 to single recipients, and $1,000 to households with two or more people to ensure that they have appropriate cleaning supplies and are prepared for a 14-day period of self-isolation. (March 31)
  • Health and Social Services is waiving professional fees for medical professionals. (March 31)
  • Increase funding available for the Income Assistance program. (March 21)
  • Support NWT residents by removing load limiters, ceasing disconnections and pausing collection efforts with the NTPC Load Limiters / Collections Policy. (March 21)
  • The government announced the exemption of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) for Income Assistance (IA) clients. These benefits would normally be counted as unearned income and would affect a client’s IA benefit amount. (May 6)
  • The Northwest Territories (GNWT) will allocate up to $6.2 million to temporarily top up wages for workers making less than $18 per hour. Under this program, businesses are asked to apply for temporary funding to increase the wages of their employees who make less than $18 per hour, for a maximum of 16 weeks between April 1 and July 31, 2020. The program is available to all workers in the NWT that are currently earning less than $18 per hour and are over 15 years old. (May 12)
  • The NWT announced the extension of all Income Assistance (IA) COVID-19 relief measures currently in place. (July 22)
  • The the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will extend the wage top-up program for an additional eight weeks to match the federal extension of the Canada Emergency Relief Benefit (CERB) to October 3, 2020. (July 28)
  • The Minister responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC), announced that the Transitional Rent Supplement Program (TRSP) has been extended to November 30, 2020. (Sept 3)
Housing
  • Minister Caroline Wawzonek confirmed that the GNWT has enacted the Residential Tenancies (COVID-19) Regulations, a new temporary regulation that offers tenants a mechanism to defer their rent if they have lost their job or have had a significant decline in their income during the COVID-19 health pandemic. (April 15)
Support for Students
  • Defer the payment of student loans to September 30, 2020, including not charging interest for this period. (March 21)

Support for Businesses

  • The government will provide relief to northern supply chain businesses through a removal of fees until the end of June including bridge tolls, truck permits and airport landing fees. (March 21)
  • Offer low interest working capital loans from the Business Development and Investment Corporation to businesses to help offset up to one month of COVID-19 impacts. (March 21)
  • Allow for the deferral of any Business Development and Investment Corporation loan payments for a period of up to three cumulative months, between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020, with no penalty or additional interest charges. (March 21)
  • Provide advance payments for the 2020 GNWT net fiscal benefit from resource revenues to Indigenous Governments that are signatories to the Devolution Agreement. (March 21)
  • Allow non-government organizations, Indigenous Governments and Community Governments with unused contribution amounts in 2019-20 to use these funds in 2020-21. (March 21)
  • Allow small businesses and individuals to access cash flow more quickly by shortening the payment terms on GNWT invoices so that they are paid out as soon as possible. (March 21)
  • Extension of the due date for Workers' Safety and Compensation Commission Employer Assessment Payments from April 1 to May 1, 2020. (March 21)
  • Provide small businesses and individuals with access to greater cash flow during this crisis, by pausing most collections efforts, including: Outside collection agency activity, GNWT set-offs on GNWT payments and GNWT set-offs on Canada Revenue Agency tax refunds. (March 21)
  • The GNWT will waive interest charges on all late tax returns between March 15 and June 30 including fuel tax and payroll tax. (March 31)
  • The government is now accepting funding applications from local businesses and artists interested in manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as well as other non-medical products. They will provide up to $1,000 for the purchase of raw materials for the manufacturing of non-medical cloth facemasks and up to $25,000 for the purchase of raw materials and equipment for the manufacturing of medically certified products. (April 27)
  • On April 30, 2020, Northwest Territories (NWT) residents received their second NWT Cost of Living Offset payment in the amount of $52.00 per adult and $60.00 per child under the age of 18. (April 28)
  • The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) is contributing $86,000 to Northwest Territories (NWT) Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDC) to allow them to defer loan payments for their clients in the same way that the Business Development and Investment Corporation has done. The one-time contribution by the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will cover the interest costs that would otherwise be incurred by these organizations. (May 6)
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) intends to waive rent on existing surface dispositions on public land, for the fiscal year 2020-21. The Department of Lands says rent relief is available to all holders of existing recreational, residential, and commercial and mining surface dispositions on public land. The rent relief applies retroactively from April 1, 2020 until March 31, 2021. (May 11)
  • Northwest Territories businesses making investments to align with the Government of the Northwest Territories’ (GNWT) Emerging Wisely Plan can now apply to the Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) Program for funding. The SEED program can now be accessed to cover costs to businesses such as structural changes required to protect employees, capital improvements, investments related to shifting operations online and the purchase of personal protective equipment for employees. Businesses that have already made such investments on their own will be permitted to apply for a portion of this investment, retroactive to April 1, 2020. (June 17)
  • Two funding initiatives to support licensed child care programs have been extended until September 30, 2020: funding to pay up to 75% of eligible fixed costs for child care operators and funding supports for enhanced cleaning of child care spaces. (July 6)
  • The GNWT will also continue to waive certain fees for residents and businesses, including: Deh Cho Bridge tolls (extended to Sept 30, 2020); truck permits (Sept 30, 2020); NWT airport landing fees (Dec 31, 2020); and Leases, licences, and concession fees at all NWT airports (Dec 31, 2020). (July 6)
Hospitality
  • In support of the restaurant and hospitality industry, the NWTLCC will offer to buy back any unopened alcohol stock, ensuring that businesses have access to the cash they need now. (March 31)
Arts
  • The territory is accepting funding proposals from professional artists recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. Up to $3,000 is available to NWT artists or commercial film and media arts producers with lost revenues or whose activities are restricted due to physical distancing requirements. Up to $5,000 is also being made available to registered NWT arts businesses, not-for-profit organizations and collectives. (May 15)
Agriculture and Agribusiness
  • Up to $10,000 (based on 2019 production) will be made available to individual fishers under the Commercial Fisheries Industry Safety Support Program to equip their fishing vessels with the safety equipment needed to meet both COVID-19 protection measures and Transport Canada’s Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations. (March 31)(June 10)

Utility Relief

  • The government announced new funding today to support recycling depots and processing centres during the COVID-19 state of emergency. This financial support will help offset costs directly associated with loss of income to operators since the closure of recycling depots on March 19, 2020 due to COVID-19. For processing centres, a one-time payment of $5,000 will be provided while staff and operators explore federal funding opportunities. (April 30)