NWTHC Addresses Bed Bug Issue in Fort Simpson

Fort Simpson — August 1, 2019
News Releases

The Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) has taken a proactive approach to addressing concerns related to bed bugs in public housing in Fort Simpson.  Maintenance staff from the Fort Simpson Housing Authority, the NWTHC’s contractual agent that delivers housing services in Fort Simpson, went door-to-door to conduct inspections and determined that at least six units are showing signs of bed bugs, of which the tenants were unaware.  The Authority is taking immediate action to treat these units as they have the equipment and training.  The treatment process takes four hours and the affected residents will not need to be re-housed due to bed bugs.

Minister Alfred Moses has reached out to community leadership in Fort Simpson to discuss concerns they may have with the operations of the Authority and with bed bugs in the Village. The Minister indicated that an Administrator has been appointed to bring the Authority’s operations back to an acceptable standard, after which, a new manager will be appointed and a full board appointed.

The NWTHC, in consultation with the Department of Health and Social Services, intends to hold a workshop in Fort Simpson for technical staff from Local Housing Organizations (LHOs) in other communities to receive training on best practices regarding bed bug eradication. This will build the knowledge base of technical staff so that any future bed bug infestations can also be dealt with in a proactive and effective manner.

Bed bugs have been an issue in some communities in the NWT for many years and best practices for eradicating them are well established. The NWTHC has acquired remediation equipment that is available to all LHOs across the territory. If required, the NWTHC has the capacity to bring additional eradication equipment into Fort Simpson to ensure that any future bed bug infestations can be eliminated as quickly as possible.

If any public housing tenants notice bed bugs in their unit, they are encouraged to contact their LHO immediately so that treatments can begin as soon as possible.  Private homeowners can also contact the NWTHC to inquire about programming to remediate bed bugs in their homes.


“Our local housing organizations have been successful in treating bed bugs in public housing through their training and having the appropriate equipment.”

-Alfred Moses, Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation


“Eliminating bed bugs can be challenging if the infestation is extensive or involves complex building structures. The Environmental Health Unit from the Department of Health and Social Services will continue to provide advice to the NWT Housing Corporation to support them in addressing this problem.”

-Glen Abernethy, Minister of Health and Social Services


Quick Facts

  • Bed bugs are an issue in Canada and world-wide.
  • Bed bugs are small, reddish brown insects that require a blood meal to survive.
  • Bed bug bites may go unnoticed, or be mistaken for mosquito bites. The bites typically heal without treatment.
  • Bed bugs are not known to spread any human disease.
  • Bed bugs are often hard to see as they usually come out at night and can hide in many areas such as mattresses, furniture, cracks in baseboards and walls. Bed bugs are transported between buildings in luggage, back packs, furniture, bedding or clothing. They can also travel between rooms and apartments through small openings and cracks.
  • In mid-July an operational decision was made by the Northwest Territories Housing Corporation (NWTHC) to appoint an Administrator to oversee the operations of the Fort Simpson Housing Authority.
  • This move was necessary in order to re-establish sound financial practices and controls that were identified in a recent independent audit of the Authority as being compromised.
  • The remaining two board members and manager were relieved of their duties in order to ensure that service is continued to the Authority’s tenants in terms of customer relations and maintenance.

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Media Contacts


Ben Fraser

Communications Advisor

Strategic Planning, Policy and Communications

Northwest Territories Housing Corporation

Phone: (867) 767-9328 ex. 85021

Fax: (867) 873-9426