The Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut have reached an agreement to each provide up to $17.1 million in assistance to airlines over the next six to 18 months.

“Under this agreement, the Government of Nunavut will determine minimum levels of essential services to remote communities and allocate funding to air operators to ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies and other essential goods and services to these communities,” reads a news release issued on Monday afternoon.

Although just announced, the funding covers the period from July 1-Dec. 31. Whether additional financial aid will be granted depends on “the needs of communities and the pace of recovery of air travel into remote communities,” the federal government stated.

“Nunavut’s reliance on air travel cannot be understated; to ensure availability of basic goods and supplies throughout the territory, as well as the ability to travel between communities and to gateway cities across Canada,” said Economic Development and Transportation Minister David Akeeagok. “Covid-19 has shown how essential this service is, and we are grateful this vital link has been recognized by the Government of Canada. We will continue to work with our airlines and the federal government to ensure its viability throughout the pandemic.”

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Derek Neary

Derek Neary has been reporting on developments in the North for 18 years. When he's not writing for Nunavut News, he's working on Northern News Services' special publications such as Opportunities North,...