The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has updated its Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) as of May 16.
In light of the recent flooded communities, more financial assistance will be provided to residents, small businesses in the event of a widespread disaster.
The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs began reviewing the policy following last year’s flood season.
“Generally, the changes to the policy will allow Cabinet to invoke the policy as soon as possible and provide the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs with the authority to establish policies, guidelines, and standard operating procedures,” the GWNT stated in press release.
“Additionally, the changes will modernize disaster assistance by expanding eligibility criteria and increasing assistance amounts, while maximizing reimbursement to the GNWT from Canada under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement.”
The press release outlines the following changes to the Disaster Assistance Policy:
- Expanded eligibility for small businesses to include self-employed commercial hunters, fishers, trappers, and other harvesters of natural resources; non-profit organizations; and persons providing rental accommodations.
- Established minimum thresholds for residents, businesses, and Local Authorities.
- Increased amounts provided to the private sector applicants (residents, small businesses) from $100,000 to $240,000, and removing the cap for the public sector (community governments).
Of the changes, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs, Shane Thompson said, “I am very pleased that we have an updated Disaster Assistance Policy that will serve NWT residents immediately during this 2022 flood season. Our government learned several lessons from the 2021 floods, including the need for an updated policy. Department staff have worked very hard to conduct a thorough review of DAP and produce a comprehensive updated policy to meet the needs of NWT residents.”