North

Federal government providing nearly $130M to help territories, northern businesses during pandemic

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 and social services response to COVID-19 in the North, but to provide financial support for northern airlines and businesses.

Money for health-care system, airlines, businesses, Nutrition North

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 the 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 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with reporters on Tuesday. 1:24

The funding announced Tuesday is in addition to the $500 million for provinces and territories that was part of the federal government's $1-billion package in early March. That money was meant to fund critical health care system needs and to support mitigation efforts, including access to testing, equipment and enhanced surveillance and monitoring.

The federal government has also created a fund specifically for Indigenous communities. The $305-million Indigenous community support fund was announced mid-March as part of a broader $82-billion aid package to help Canadians and businesses deal with the fallout from COVID-19.

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