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Need to evacuate this summer? GNWT says you're getting $800

Dependants will receive $400 each if evacuated
A view of a wildfire over Hay River, Northwest Territories from an air tanker is shown in a May 14, 2023 handout photo. The GNWT announced that anyone evacuated this year will be eligible for $800 and $400 per dependant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Northwest Territories Environment and Natural Resources

If you have to pack up and escape your community in an major emergency this summer, the GNWT says it will have $800 reserved for you.

An announcement of the GNWT's Emergency Evacuation Relief Program was released shortly before 6 p.m. on May 17.

Applications will be open to anyone who is ordered to evacuate their community and registers as an evacuee upon reaching safety. The GNWT says it's earmarked $800 per resident age 18 or over and $400 for each dependant under 18. Applicants may be required to provide proof of residency in the community they live in, such as a utility bill, proof of dependants such as birth certificates, and identification like a driver's licence — so if you are ordered to evacuate make sure you pack those along. A list of accepted documents can be found on the department of motor vehicles website.

"The GNWT is committed to addressing the challenges faced by residents during evacuations," said Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek. "Following the floods and wildfires of 2023, we have adjusted our emergency financial support program to improve access and ensure that all residents have the financial support they need in the event of an evacuation.

"The Emergency Evacuation Relief Program was intentionally improved based on resident feedback and will help individuals and families adjust to the new situations they face when displaced from their homes during emergencies."

Applications will only be accepted after a community government issues an evacuation order and will only be accepted up to 14 days after the order is lifted.

The notice adds the GNWT is working on an online application but advises that residents should download and complete the application form in advance and keep it handy as emergencies tend to happen quickly and unexpectedly. All documents are to be emailed to for processing.

The GNWT says the new program is the result of feedback from a review the government conducted from February to March 2024, which received 272 submissions. Among the feedback the GNWT received was a need for better clarity and accesibility, equitable treatment, inclusive coverage, better communication and documentation and being more efficient and timely.

About the Author: Eric Bowling

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