Questions and Answers
The following questions and answers are intended to clarify who is or isn’t eligible to apply for the Evacuation Travel Support Program. Please note that residents who are not eligible for Evacuation Travel Support may still be eligible for other forms of support provided by the Government of the Northwest Territories and other sources. For more information, please visit: https://www.gov.nt.ca/en/public-safety/financial-support-and-donating.
How do I know if I'm eligible for this program?
To be eligible for the Evacuation Travel Support Program, you must have:
- registered online as an evacuee with the GNWT;
- evacuated from your community by vehicle for any event in 2023; and
- not received any other financial support intended to offset evacuation travel expenses from your employer, or insurance provider.
What if I evacuated multiple times during the 2023 wildfire season?
Residents who were directed to evacuate their community more than once since April 1 2023 will qualify for payments under the Evacuation Travel Support Program for each evacuation.
Please note that the evacuations from Fort Smith to Hay River, and then from Hay River out of the territory, are categorized as a single event. This decision considers how close and connected the events are and helps to ensure that all evacuees are treated in a consistent manner.
Our goal is to make sure that all residents affected by emergency events receive support in an equitable manner. While we understand that every evacuation is unique and poses its own set of challenges, it is essential for us to adopt a standardized approach to ensure fairness across all events.
Am I eligible if I have received assistance from an Indigenous government?
Yes, residents who receive financial support from an Indigenous government will be eligible for the Evacuation Travel Support Program.
Am I eligible if I've already received financial support from my insurance company or employer for evacuation expenses?
Residents who receive financial support from their insurance company or employer intended to offset evacuation travel expenses are not eligible for the Evacuation Travel Support Program.
Am I eligible if I received a gift card for gas from an evacuation centre?
Yes, you are eligible. If you received a gift/gas card from an evacuation centre, you are still eligible to apply for the Evacuation Travel Support Program.
Am I eligible to apply if I have received an emergency payment from NWT Income Assistance?
Yes, you are still eligible to apply if you have received an emergency payment through NWT Income Assistance.
Am I eligible if I evacuated by vehicle before the evacuation order was issued?
Yes, as long as your home community was placed under an evacuation order and you evacuated by vehicle you are eligible.
I was one of several people who evacuated in the same vehicle. Are we all eligible to apply?
No. Funding for the program is available per vehicle, not by resident. The Evacuation Travel Support Program is designed to offset, but not be strictly limited to, the operating costs of a vehicle used to evacuate the community under evacuation order.
One individual per vehicle should apply on behalf of their travel companions and use the funding to offset travel costs from the exit journey and prepare for the return trip to their community.
Am I eligible if I was out of the territory for another reason when the evacuation order was issued?
The Evacuation Travel Support Program was designed to offset, but not be strictly limited to, the operating costs of a vehicle used to evacuate the community under evacuation order.
Residents who were already outside their community at the time of evacuation may not be eligible to apply for the Evacuation Travel Support Program. Residents who travelled outside the territory for vacation, for example, would not be eligible. For more information, please contact ETSP@gov.nt.ca or call 867-446-2428.
Am I eligible if I evacuated by air but plan on driving back?
Evacuees who evacuated by air but choose to drive back are eligible the Evacuation Travel Support Program. All residents who evacuated will be able to register for organized re-entry flights paid for by the GNWT.
When the NWT Evacuation Funding Program Portal first launched, the Evacuation Travel Support Program application included the following declaration:
“I confirm that I evacuated from my community by vehicle; and have not received any other financial support.”
We heard from many residents that this statement was unclear, and they were confused about what they should do.
What is considered as “other financial support”?
The declaration on the application form has been updated to read:
“I confirm that I evacuated from my community by vehicle; and have not received any other financial support intended to offset evacuation travel expenses from my employer, insurance company or any other source.”
If you received a gas card from an evacuation centre, you are still eligible to apply for the Evacuation Travel Support Program.
I checked the box and submitted my application. Now I’m not sure I was supposed to. What should I do?
If you meet the criteria in the new declaration (you have not received financial support intended to offset evacuation travel), you don’t have to do anything.
If you do not meet the criteria, or are uncertain, reach out to ETSP@gov.nt.ca. Please include the registration number you were given when you submitted your application in your email.
If you did not apply because you were unclear about the declaration, we encourage you to re-assess based on this additional information.
Who can I contact if I have questions or need help with my application?
If you have questions or require assistance, please contact ETSP@gov.nt.ca or call 867-446-2428
Do I need to apply more than once if I had to evacuate multiple times?
Yes. Residents should submit an application for each time they had to evacuate if they meet all the eligibility criteria.
The NWT Evacuee Funding Program Portal has a drop-down menu on the first page of the application form that lists each individual community and the different dates of evacuation orders to allow residents to submit applications for each of the applicable evacuation events.
Is there a deadline for submitting my application?
The Evacuation Travel Support Program will remain open for 30 days after an evacuation order is lifted.
Since the application period opened on August 29, we have been receiving a high volume of applications. If you are in a position to do so, we ask you to consider delaying your application for Evacuation Travel Support so that we can process applications from other residents who may have a more urgent need for financial support. The GNWT is committed to paying all eligible residents who apply before the deadline.
I don’t want to apply online. Is there a printed form I can use?
Using the online NWT Evacuation Funding Programs Portal is the fastest way for residents to apply and receive payment for the Evacuation Travel Support Program. Residents who prefer not to use the online portal can download a.pdf copy of the application form at: https://www.fin.gov.nt.ca/sites/fin/files/resources/etsp-application-bilingual_dd_0.pdf.
Is the application form available in hard copy? Will it be available at evacuation centres?
Printed copies of applications will be available at all evacuation centres.
How long will it take for me to receive my payment?
The GNWT is working hard to process applications and issue payment as fast as possible.
Payment by direct deposit is the fastest way for all applicants to receive payment. It is currently taking about one week to process applications and issue payments by direct deposit.
Can I receive my payment if I don't have electronic banking?
Yes. Applicants can choose to receive their payment through direct deposit, or by cheque. Applicants who prefer to receive a physical cheque will need to be mindful that cheques are mailed to an address provided by the applicant. Mail delivery to your home community will not be possible if the evacuation order is still in place, and may still be delayed after an order is lifted.
Please contact ETSP@gov.nt.ca or call 867-446-2428 if you need to make other arrangements to receive your payment.
Is the Evacuation Travel Support Program payment taxable?
The Evacuation Travel Support Program (ETSP) is related to emergency services and is not taxable.
If the payment is not taxable, why does the online application require me to enter my Social Insurance Number?
The GNWT is updating the form to remove the requirement to enter your Social Insurance Number to apply for the Evacuation Travel Support Program.
How do I submit a void cheque?
If you DO NOT have a personal cheque with you, many banks provide an option to download a void cheque directly from your online banking platform or mobile banking app. Instructions on how to download a void cheque for most major Canadian banks is available at: https://www.fin.gov.nt.ca/sites/fin/files/resources/providing_a_void_cheque_-_fournir_un_specimen_de_cheque.pdf.
If you have a personal cheque with you, please clearly write VOID across the cheque.
- If you are submitting a printed application at an evacuation centre, make sure to include the void cheque with your application.
- If you are submitting your application by email, or completing the application online, take a picture of your void cheque to submit with your application. Please make sure that the picture clearly displays your Branch, Institution, and Account numbers near the bottom of the cheque.
Can I apply for the Evacuation Travel Support Program if I made my own flight arrangements evacuate from Yellowknife?
The GNWT will not be able to compensate residents who made their own arrangements to leave Yellowknife on scheduled flights. We recognize that this may be a financial burden for some, but we need to allocate our limited available resources to where they are most needed.
I can make my own arrangements to fly back. Will the GNWT reimburse me?
No, the GNWT will not reimburse residents who make their own arrangements to fly back to Yellowknife when the evacuation order is lifted.