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Nunavut municipalities receive $2 million in funds from GN; daycare funding ceases

Almost $900,000 has been spent on daycares in the territory amid Covid-19, said Premier Joe Savikataaq during Monday’s press conference. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

In order to cover expenses incurred from Covid-19, $2 million in funding will be allocated to municipalities, announced Premier Joe Savikataaq during a press conference on April 20.

The money will help cover costs for Covid-19 related signage, information and translations. Expenses incurred due to additional janitorial and custodial staff, increased bylaw and enforcement patrols, lost revenues from facility closures, and increased water delivery and garbage pickup services will also be covered with this funding.

Such expenses should not burden the hamlets, said Savikataaq.

“This funding will help ensure that they are able to cover off these unforeseen costs, without having to make sacrifices in other areas,” he said.

While funds are being provided for municipalities, territorial government money is drying up for daycares. Today is the last day for territorial funding for daycares in the Nunavut, said Savikataaq during the press conference.

As of today, almost $900,000 has been given to daycares in the territory amid Covid-19, said the premier.

“It is money we did not have that we are spending,” he said, adding this funding had not been budgeted.

On March 17, all Nunavut daycares were closed due to Covid-19 concerns. Two days later, the GN announced funding for daycares. At that time, federal programs providing financial support to daycares were not available.

Now there are federal programs like the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit and Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy that are available for funds. The premier encourages daycares to apply for those federal programs.

Finance Minister George Hickes explained that if daycares were to receive territorial funding support, it would not allow them to be qualified for federal funding.

“One of the concerns that we had by funding the daycares, the 100 per cent of the parental fees, (it) excludes them for applying for federal funding... because they won’t be showing the losses that would be needed to qualify for the wage funding subsidy, as an example,” said Hickes.

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