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Most emergency flood money from N.W.T. government to be spent in early 2022

·2 min read
Roughly 700 residents of Fort Simpson, N.W.T. (pictured) evacuated the community last May due to severe flooding. According to a document tabled in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday, only $6 million of a $31 million special warrant for flood recovery had been spent, as of Sept. 30. (Mario De Ciccio/CBC - image credit)
Roughly 700 residents of Fort Simpson, N.W.T. (pictured) evacuated the community last May due to severe flooding. According to a document tabled in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday, only $6 million of a $31 million special warrant for flood recovery had been spent, as of Sept. 30. (Mario De Ciccio/CBC - image credit)

Most of the emergency money the N.W.T. government set aside to help victims of this past spring's flooding will be spent in the new year.

A document tabled in the Legislative Assembly Wednesday shows the territory has spent $6 million so far from its $36-million budget for flood response. There are contracts in place for another $20 million in the new year, and the rest of the funds are expected to be spent by March 31, 2022.

If the money isn't completely spent by then, the fund will lapse and the money will no longer be available for flood relief.

The document did not lay out what the money has been spent on so far.

In June, the territorial government approved a special funding allotment of $31 million for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs so it could help community governments, residents and small businesses in Jean Marie River, Fort Simpson, Fort Good Hope, Aklavik, Hay River and parts of Fort Resolution recover and rebuild after widespread flooding. It also added another $5 million in supplementary funds to that pot of money, for a total of $36 million.

The territorial government has said it would cover the cost of repairing or replacing primary residences that were damaged or destroyed by the flood.

In September, it notified flood victims in Fort Simpson and Jean Marie River that their replacement homes would be coming in early 2022, instead of this year.

At that time, Mike Westwick, a communications advisor for the Department of Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA), told CBC News the delay was necessary in order to get better-quality homes for residents.

In Fort Simpson, the government is replacing eight homes and repairing 11; and in Jean Marie River, the government is replacing six homes and repairing 10. There were also nine homes in Fort Good Hope due to be repaired.

Repairs were scheduled to wrap up last month.

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