Disaster Recovery and Assistance

News Releases

Yellowknife — May 16, 2022

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has improved how financial assistance is provided to residents, small businesses, and community governments in the event of a widespread natural disaster. The updated Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) is being implemented immediately to assist people in flooded communities starting today.

The Department of Municipal and Community Affairs began a comprehensive review of the policy following the 2021 flood season. Extensive public engagement was completed along with cross-jurisdictional comparisons aimed at bringing the policy in line with disaster assistance offered by other provincial and territorial governments and the Federal government.

Generally, the changes to the policy will allow Cabinet to invoke the policy as soon as possible and provide the Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs with the authority to establish policies, guidelines, and standard operating procedures. Additionally, the changes will modernize disaster assistance by expanding eligibility criteria and increasing assistance amounts, while maximizing reimbursement to the GNWT from Canada under the Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangement. 

Specific improvements to the DAP include:

  • Expanded eligibility for small businesses to include self-employed commercial hunters, fishers, trappers, and other harvesters of natural resources; non-profit organizations; and persons providing rental accommodations.
  • Established minimum thresholds for residents, businesses, and Local Authorities.
  • Increased amounts provided to the private sector applicants (residents, small businesses) from $100,000 to $240,000, and removing the cap for the public sector (community governments).

The GNWT recognizes the immense stress that residents, businesses, and community officials are under right now due to flooding in the South Slave Region.

  • The first step will be to file a claim registration form on the Municipal and Community Affairs (MACA) website
  • Pathfinders who can assist with navigating through the process for flood recovery are available by contacting flood@gov.nt.ca
  • More guidance and information related to the updated DAP will be available on the MACA Flood Recovery website as they become available in the coming days.


“I am very pleased that we have an updated Disaster Assistance Policy that will serve NWT residents immediately during this 2022 flood season. Our government learned several lessons from the 2021 floods, including the need for an updated policy. Department staff have worked very hard to conduct a thorough review of DAP and produce a comprehensive updated policy to meet the needs of NWT residents.”

- Shane Thompson, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs

Quick facts

  • Flooding in the NWT is difficult to predict. It is often caused by ice jams that back up water levels in specific areas. Local conditions depend on timing and volume of precipitation (i.e. snow and rain); thickness of river and lake ice; and, timing and rate of spring melt.
  • Based on current data, flow rates on the Slave, Tazin, and Taltson Rivers, along with water levels in Great Slave Lake are very high for this time of year.
  • The Climate Trends and Variations Bulletin (CTVB) helps communicate to Canadians how Canada's climate has changed over the period for which Environment Canada has climate observations.
  • The best protection individuals can apply in disaster-prone areas is having a clear plan and emergency kit

Related links


For media requests, please contact:

Jay Boast

Senior Communications and Planning Officer

Department of Municipal and Community Affairs

Government of the Northwest Territories


(867) 767-9162 ext. 21044