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Seniors to receive extra funds, Iqaluit's Beer and Wine Store accommodates Elders

“I am pleased to announce that the Government of Nunavut has enacted an exemption regulation for this one time payment increase to the Government of Canada's guaranteed income supplement and the old age security,” said Elisapee Sheutiapik, minister of Family Services. Rajnesh Sharma/NNSL photo

As a response to Covid-19 pandemic, seniors in receipt of old age security or guaranteed income supplements will receive a one-time tax-free payment from the Government of Canada, announced Elisapee Sheutiapik, minister of Family Services during a June 4 press conference.

The Government of Nunavut has created an exemption regulation allowing for the maximum amount of funding in this one-time payment to financially insecure seniors.

Those who receive an old age pension will get an additional $300, while seniors eligible for the guaranteed income supplement will receive an additional $200, said Sheutiapik.

These payments will be automatically distributed.

Beer and Wine Store hours for Iqaluit elders

Beginning June 8, Iqaluit’s Beer and Wine store will be open specifically for Elders over 60. This measure has been put in place to ensure social distancing and avoiding crowds for Elders. On Mondays, Elders may purchase alcohol between 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Health Minister George Hickes also reminded people to not ask Elders to purchase alcohol on their behalf since it is considered bootlegging.

“I strongly encourage people to have some respect and not influence somebody or force somebody to go to the Beer and Wine store to purchase alcohol on their behalf,” said Hickes.

Covid-19 update

When asked whether Nunavut is prepared with equipment and staff for a possible Covid-19 outbreak, Dr. Michael Patterson responded, “It depends on the size of the outbreak.”

For a large outbreak, “we have what we need to do the initial work and we would require increasing our large amount of supplies to be delivered quickly from the federal government,” he said.

“But I am confident that they also have increased their reserves that are in the south and could accommodate our needs."

Patterson also mentioned that Nunavut and the Northwest Territories (NWT) are developing a travel bubble between the two jurisdictions.

“We're working out the logistics of doing it in a way that ensures that it doesn't become a loophole or a way to avoid isolation, if somebody's coming from outside of NWT but needs to get into Nunavut,” said Patterson.

As of Thursday, there are no Covid-19 cases in territory with a total of 1,122 individuals investigated with 106 individuals have yet to be cleared.

GN has created a new email to deal with concerns around isolation hubs. Individuals can email to express their comments, concerns or question.