Support from northerners like you keeps our journalism alive. Sign up here.

GNWT prioritizing Calgary airlifts to Yellowknife over hotel issue

A letter to evacuees in a Calgary hotel notifies them of a need to vacate their room. Photo: Submitted
A letter to evacuees in a Calgary hotel notifies them of a need to vacate their room. Photo: Submitted

The NWT government says evacuee flights back to Yellowknife from Calgary are being prioritized to help head off a crunch in the Alberta city’s hotel availability.

Some Calgary hotels told evacuees on Monday that they must check out on Tuesday and will be moved to other accommodation, though exactly where that would be was not immediately clear.

In response, the NWT government issued a statement blaming “hotel capacity constraints” and promising everyone would have shelter, though not necessarily a replacement hotel room.

The GNWT said staff at each affected hotel would let people know their new accommodation.

Flights home to Yellowknife are due to begin on Wednesday.



At least some Yellowknife evacuees received notices on Monday morning at their hotel. The extent to which South Slave evacuees were affected is unclear.

“The City of Calgary will try their best to relocate affected individuals to different hotels, but where that is not possible, evacuees will continue to be supported through group lodging,” the GNWT stated on Facebook.

“Evacuees that have additional needs will be prioritized for hotel reassignment. All wrap-around emergency social services will continue to be provided to those accessing group lodging. The City of Calgary will arrange transportation to the new accommodation locations and will continue supporting evacuees through the transition.”

The territory is due to begin free flights home to Yellowknife from various locations on Wednesday, a process expected to last at least five days.

Given the hotel issued, the GNWT stated, it has now “prioritized repatriation flights from Calgary on September 6, to support evacuees currently in Calgary to come home.”