Premier and Ministers meet to review GNWT response to flooding

News Releases

Yellowknife — May 13, 2021

Premier Cochrane along with Ministers Diane Archie, Paulie Chinna and Nahendeh MLA Shane Thompson met late yesterday evening to review the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) response to flooding in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and to discuss next steps.

The Department of Municipal and Community affairs (MACA) Emergency Management Organization (EMO) continues to work collaboratively with impacted communities to provide on the ground support. The Department of Infrastructure (INF) and Northwest Territories Power Corporation (NTPC) continue to coordinate with the Territorial Emergency Organization, assess and evaluate buildings for electrical safety, offer alternative power solutions where they can and more.

Once it is safe to do so, the GNWT will begin the process of assessing the damage to the residential areas as well as community infrastructure. Priority is on supporting impacted communities as they rebuild and recover.

At this time, the GNWT has sent aircrafts to support evacuations as well as supplies requested by Community Emergency organizations.  As the flooding situation evolves, the GNWT is also looking at options for how to manage donations that residents and organizations are looking to make. More information will be provided once details have been confirmed.

The Department of Infrastructure has dispatched teams to the region to begin clearing ice on the shore in preparation to launch ferry service into Fort Simpson in the coming days. The ferry will only become operational once the water levels drop to a safe level for the ferry to go into the water.

The GNWT is also assessing the need for financial assistance for further support as we assess community damage. This includes initial discussions with the Federal Government about how they can support the overall recovery efforts.


“The North has always been a place where residents come together during a time of need and I know we all will for those impacted by the flooding. We are going to do everything we can to ensure that you are safe and have the supports you need. Once flooding has subsided, the GNWT will continue to work with Indigenous leadership and community governments who will be focused on leading the recovery.”

- Caroline Cochrane, Premier of the Northwest Territories


“When NWT residents and communities are at risk, it is important that our territory comes together to provide support the best we can. The Department of Infrastructure and Northwest Territories Power Corporation continue to monitor the situation and provide support where it is safe to do so. The GNWT will continue to do what we can to support communities and residents during this difficult time and as they transition to recovery – work with communities to make the transition as efficient as we can.

- Diane Archie, Deputy Premier, Minister of Infrastructure and Minister Responsible for the Northwest Territories Power Corporation


“Northerners have always shown a unique ability to come together and support one another during times of need, we continue to see this sense of community across the NWT. I want to commend the collaboration and partnership between community leaders for working effectively and efficiently to address the needs of their communities. We will continue to do everything we can to support communities and residents during this trying time.”  

-Paulie Chinna, Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs


"The outpouring of support from across the NWT has been incredible. I recognize that many people want to know what they can do and how they can help.  It is important that we let the professionals on the ground do their jobs and that we support them however we can while we navigate the flooding situation.”

-Shane Thompson, MLA for Nahendeh

Quick facts

  • The majority of emergencies are dealt with at the local level. Local Authorities are required to have emergency plans in place and enact them when an emergency event impacts the community. Direction and control of response operations is conducted by local officials. The regional EMO will be notified and provided situational awareness to monitor the situation for possible GNWT involvement.
  • Should the Local Authority request assistance to deal with an emergency, or become overwhelmed by the nature of the incident, GNWT support is provided. While community response operations will remain under the direction and control of the Local Authority, GNWT support is directed and controlled by the regional EMO as a designated incident manager. In circumstances where the Local Authority is overwhelmed, the community is not established as a municipal corporation or the emergency extends beyond the boundaries of a community, the regional EMO may take some or all responsibility for direction and control of emergency response operations.
  • Emergency response priorities help guide decision making on response activities. The following emergency response priorities are used within the NWT. The response priorities are listed in order of priority and should be use when developing operational plans and for general decision making within the EOCs. Priorities in conducting emergency response operations are: 1. Provide for the safety and health of all responders 2. Save lives 3. Reduce suffering 4. Protect public health 5. Protect critical infrastructure 6. Protect property 7. Protect the environment 8. Reduce economic and social losses.
  • The GNWT may provide financial assistance to community governments, small businesses, and residents of the NWT who have suffered damage as a result of a disaster. The GNWT’s Disaster Assistance Policy (DAP) may provide financial support to assist individuals, small businesses and community governments in recovering from a disaster and restoring damaged property to its pre-disaster condition.
  • The DAP is similar to disaster assistance programs established in other jurisdictions in Canada and is closely aligned with the federal Disaster Financial Assistance Arrangements (DFAA). DFAA provides financial assistance to provinces and territories to help them cover costs relating to a disaster.

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Government of the Northwest Territories