Federal government provides $5.3 million for wildfire damages

It's the final instalment of a $20.3 million federal grant

Federal government provides $5.3 million for wildfire damages

Catastrophe & Flood

By Lyle Adriano

The federal government of Canada has provided the Northwest Territories with $5.3 million to support the region’s response and recovery costs related to the 2014 wildfire season.

NWT will be receiving the federal grant through the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements Program (DFAA). This $5.3 million payment is the final instalment of $20.3 million of assistance the NWT is owed through the DFAA; the program had previously granted the territories $15 million in February 2020.

"Wildfires in Canada have devastating effects for thousands of Canadians each year. We are committed to working with provinces and territories when they reach out to the federal government for help to bear these costs,” said Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.

Blair also revealed that during the federal government’s recent budget, it had announced an additional $1.9 billion over the next five years to be allotted towards the DFAA.

“The Government of Canada is, and will continue to be, a strong and active partner to assist people and communities affected by wildfires across Canada,” the minister said.

In 2014, NWT saw 3.5 million hectares burned, 11 communities threatened, two community evacuations, three evacuations of remote cottage areas, and two extended territorial park closures. The territories also underwent numerous highway closures and faced threats to their hydroelectric generation facilities and other critical infrastructure.

According to a release from the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada agency, the 2014 NWT wildfire season is the territories’ worst wildfire season in its history, and the region spent eight times its regular budget in firefighting efforts that year.

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