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Media Release: Flood Relief for Evacuated Communities

May 19, 2022

YELLOWKNIFE: The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Social Justice Fund and the Union of Northern Workers (UNW) are each contributing $30,000 for a total of $60,000 to the United Way NWT emergency relief fund to support the residents of flooded communities in Hay River.

As a longstanding charitable partner of the UNW, the United Way NWT will administer the funds to qualifying relief organizations to ensure residents affected by the flooding and damage will get the aid they need.

The Social Justice Fund was established by the PSAC in 2003 to promote and administer humanitarian relief, anti-poverty initiatives, international labour development, and worker education. As a national officer of the PSAC, UNW President Gayla Thunstrom sits on the SJF Steering Committee, and is pleased to continue the longstanding relationship with United Way NWT.

Many UNW members in the North contribute to the Social Justice Fund, as well as some UNW employers including, but not limited to, the City of Yellowknife, the Village of Fort Simpson, and the Town of Hay River. The most recent UNW employer contributor to the SJF is the Government of the Northwest Territories.

“This is the second year in a row that NWT residents have been forced from their homes due to extreme flooding,” said UNW President Gayla Thunstrom. “We know that there are countless volunteers, organizations, companies, and individuals who are already mobilizing assistance to the area; this funding and any other funding raised through this initiative will go directly to qualifying organizations who are best positioned to support those in need right now."

“Flooding in the NWT is one more example of how climate change is impacting the North. While the immediate need is on the ground and SJF is ready to help communities in times of crisis, we also need to redouble our efforts in the urgent fight against climate change,” said Chris Aylward, chair of the PSAC Social Justice Fund and PSAC National President.

“The UNW is thankful for and proud of our members who always step up to help out their friends, colleagues, and neighbours,” continued Thunstrom.

Gayla Thunstrom
President, Union of Northern Workers
Member, PSAC SJF Steering Committee

Chris Aylward
PSAC National President
Chair, PSAC SJF Steering Committee

Anyone who would like to contribute to the fund and help support qualifying programs and groups offering relief to NWT residents affected by the flooding you can do so at:

For more information about United Way NWT and the work they do, please follow them on Instagram or Facebook @unitedwaynwt or go to their website at

If you are an NWT organization who needs additional funding to help your efforts with regard to the flooding in the NWT, please email

For more information on the PSAC Social Justice Fund and the work they do, please visit the website