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From: Public Safety Canada
December 20, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario
The Northwest Territories (NWT) experienced their worst wildfire season on record in 2023. It was an unprecedented season, with nearly 70 per cent of the population having been evacuated over the course of the summer from across the territories, many residents having experienced loss of property, and many communities having suffered damage to their critical infrastructure.
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, announced an advance payment of $84,347,404 to the territory through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA) program, to help assist with response and recovery costs associated with the 2023 wildfires.
When a large scale disaster happens, the Government of Canada provides financial assistance through the DFAA program to provinces and territories. Through this support, the government of Canada covers eligible disaster response and recovery expenses that have been submitted by the province or territory and that exceed what they could reasonably be expected to bear on their own.
The Government of Canada will continue to work closely with the Government of the Northwest Territories to respond to and recover better from disastrous events brought on by climate change.
“I have witnessed firsthand the damage and devastation that the 2023 wildfires have brought to communities and the residents of the NWT. We are committed to supporting those impacted by disasters, which are exacerbated by climate change, and keeping them safe. This advance payment will further help support the NWT as they continue to recover and rebuild better in the aftermath of the unprecedented wildfire season.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
“Our government is grateful to the Government of Canada for accelerating an advance payment through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements program as we continue to recover from a historic wildfire season. Residents, communities and businesses were significantly impacted by 2023 wildfires and the damage that they inflicted. In times of emergency response and recovery, collaboration across governments is critically important. The Government of the Northwest Territories is appreciative of the support it has received from partners like the Government of Canada as we continue to recover from a wildfire season that brought unprecedented devastation.”
– The Honourable Vince McKay, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs for the Northwest Territories
“Northerners are resilient, and our government will be there every step of the way to help communities in the Northwest Territories recover from their worst-ever wildfire season. This advance payment will help residents, small businesses and communities as they rebuild their lives.”
– The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs
“Throughout the 2023 wildfire season, the Government of Canada was there to support the hard work done to keep our communities safe. With this DFAA program advance payment, our government is continuing to demonstrate our commitment to addressing the impacts of this past summer on the Northwest Territories.”
– Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories
Office of the President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada