Governments of Canada and Northwest Territories Finalize Bilateral Agreement to Improve Health Care Services

News Release

February 21, 2018 - Health Canada - Ottawa, ON

Canada’s universal, publicly funded health system is a source of pride for Canadians. The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to strengthen health care and adapt the system to the changing needs of Canadians.

Today, the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) signed a bilateral agreement outlining how the GNWT plans to invest its share of targeted federal funding. The agreement represents a fundamental shift in how the federal, provincial and territorial governments work together to advance shared health priorities.

This agreement will improve access to home and community care and mental health and addiction services in the Northwest Territories. The GNWT will use the funds to increase access to services and supports in homes and communities to meet the needs of the territory’s aging population. This includes innovative ways of supporting family and community caregivers, as well as providing health care providers with new tools to assess the home and community care needs of Northern residents.

In addition, as a result of this agreement, the GNWT will take enhanced action to address suicide, which has had a devastating impact on families and communities in the Northwest Territories. The Northwest Territories Department of Health and Social Services will develop and implement a Territorial Suicide Prevention and Crisis Support Network to support communities in proactive suicide prevention, intervention and postvention activities, including culturally appropriate approaches to suicide prevention.

Through this agreement, the Northwest Territories will invest approximately $6.07 million in targeted federal funding over five years. These activities are fully aligned with the objectives and the pan-Canadian priorities set out in the Common Statement of Principles on Shared Health Priorities endorsed by the federal government, provinces* and territories in August 2017.

*The federal government has agreed to an asymmetrical arrangement with Quebec, distinct from the Common Statement of Principles.


“The funding announced today will help make a positive difference in the health and well-being of Canadians who proudly live and work in the Northwest Territories. I am pleased that our governments have been able to work together to help address issues that matter to Canadians, such as mental health and strengthening home and community care.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health

“Today’s announcement will support families in caring for their aging family members, and help their children access the services they need to address mental health challenges. I am pleased that the Government of Canada has now signed a bilateral agreement with the Government of the Northwest Territories that will strengthen health care for residents in our Territory.”

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

"Increasing capacity and options at the community level for helping people meet their health and wellness needs is a priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories. We are pleased to be working with the Government of Canada through this agreement to invest in Home and Community Care services and Mental Health and Addictions services to Northwest Territories residents.”

Glen Abernethy
Minister of Health and Social Services

Quick Facts

  • Canadians will see how targeted federal funding for home care and mental health will be invested in each province and territory and will be able to track progress based on a focused set of common indicators currently being developed.

  • In 2021-22, these agreements will be renewed for the remaining five years of the ten year commitment.

  • In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada committed $11 billion over 10 years in new funding for provinces and territories to improve access to home care and mental health services for Canadians.

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Thierry Bélair
Office of Ginette Petitpas Taylor
Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Health Canada Media Relations

Charlotte Digness
Media and Communications Coordinator
Cabinet Communications and Protocol

Government of the Northwest Territories
Ph: 867-767-9140 ext. 11092

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