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COVID-19: A roundup of economic relief measures for the Northwest Territories

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Northwest Territories government and its partners have announced a number of emergency measures to support residents affected by the pandemic. Below is a roundup. We will update this as things change or new measures are added.

Please see the federal COVID-19 support measures here.

Physician locum application fees waived

 

What is it?

  • All costs to apply to the N.W.T. Emergency Licensing Temporary Register waived and the process streamlined so physicians can begin practising in less than one day.
  • Primarily looking for physicians to work in-person, but also welcoming physicians who already know N.W.T. patients and system to provide virtual health care.

How to apply

Increased funding for income assistance recipients 

What is it?

  • A one-time emergency allowance for income assistance recipients that will provide $500 to single recipients, and $1,000 to households with two or more people. To ensure that residents receiving income assistance are prepared for a 14-day period of self-isolation.
  • The government will exclude “gifts and unearned income” from the calculation of earned income until June 30, 2020.

WSCC employer fee suspension

What is it?

  • Suspension of late payment interest charges for employer assessment payments, allowing employers currently registered with the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) to move to two equal instalments (to be paid in August and October 2020).
  • All employers with changes to their workforce as a result of COVID-19 encouraged to submit a revised estimate to the WSCC for their 2020 assessable payroll as soon as possible.
  • Estimated payroll includes payroll for workers, casual labourers, and any contractors employers are covering for work taking place in the Northwest Territories and/or Nunavut in the current calendar year.

When is it in effect?

  • April 1 to August 1, 2020.

How to apply

Deferral of BDIC loan payments 

What is it?

  • Reduction or deferral of up to three months of loan payments, without penalties or additional interest charges, for borrowers from the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).

Who’s eligible?

  • Borrowers from BDIC.
  • Businesses automatically approved and not required to demonstrate financial hardship or impacts resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

When is it in effect?

  • April 1 to September 24, 2020.

How to apply

BDIC loans offer

 

What is it?

  • Low interest loans of up to $25,000 (or more if the need is clearly addressed), at a rate of 1.75%, available to business operators through the Business Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC).
  • Loans amortized for up to five years, with options for payment deferral.

Who’s eligible?

  • Businesses that can demonstrate financial need for a 30-day period due to cash flow issues resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, ideally backed up by supporting documents. See full criteria.
  • Priority given to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, but applications will be considered from businesses with up to 50 employees.

How to apply

Pause on GNWT collection efforts

What is it?

  • A pause on most Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) collection efforts in order to provide individuals and small businesses with access to greater cash flow. The pause includes:
    • outside collection agency activity
    • GNWT set-offs on GNWT payments
    • GNWT set-offs on Canada Revenue Agency tax refunds
  • Waiving of interest charges on all late tax returns between March 15 and June 20, including interest charges on fuel tax and payroll tax.

Pause on student loan repayments

What is it?

  • A six-month moratorium on GNWT student loan repayments. No interest will accrue as the territorial government does not charge interest on its student loans.

When is it in effect?

  • March 30 to September 30, 2020.

How to apply

  • The pause is automatic, so there is no need to apply. You can continue making payments during this period if you choose to.

Northwest Territories Power Corporation bill relief

What is it?

  • All load limiters to be removed as quickly as possible to ensure no customers suffer undue hardship during the pandemic.

How to apply

  • Contact a Northwest Territories Power Corporation customer service representative to discuss deferring your bill payment or the possibility of entering into a flexible payment plan. Call 1 800 661-0855.

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If you have any questions about these measures, please contact your MD Advisor*. 

* MD Advisor refers to an MD Management Limited Financial Consultant or Investment Advisor (in Quebec), or an MD Private Investment Counsel Portfolio Manager.

Banking and credit products and services are offered by The Bank of Nova Scotia “Scotiabank.” Credit and lending products are subject to credit approval by Scotiabank.