Following the introduction of Bill C-17 in the House of Commons on March 25, the Northwest Territories will receive nearly $2.4 million from a $2-billion, one-time, top-up fund provided to provinces and territories to address immediate pandemic-related healthcare system pressures.

The $2 billion — along with an additional $4.5 billion from the Canada Health Transfer top-up that was introduced early in the pandemic — focuses on addressing items such as surgery backlogs, medical procedures and diagnostics.

According to the Government of Canada, the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed an estimated 700,000 surgeries and other medical procedures, resulting in an increase in waitlists and backlogs.

The Government of Canada’s website states that the $2 billion is in addition to overall total of $87.6 billion that the federal government will provide to provinces and territories through major transfers in 2022-23, including $45.2 billion for healthcare.

Over the past two years, pandemic-related direct transfers by the federal government to the provinces and territories total over $20 billion.

Bill C-17 also provides authority for a previously announced transfer of $750 million to help municipalities deal with transit shortfalls and to improve housing supply and affordability, in partnership with the provinces and territories.

Nunavut and Yukon will receive $2 million and $2.2 million, respectively.

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