LA TUQUE, QC, April 16, 2019 /CNW/ - Since its first budget in 2016, the Government of Canada has taken significant action to improve the quality of life for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Working in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples has improved the way Indigenous people access services in their own communities.
Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, was in La Tuque to highlight the Government's proposed Indigenous-related investments in Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class. These important investments represent the next step in the ongoing path toward reconciliation and a better future for Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians.
In a meeting with Constant Awashish, Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation, Minister Carolyn Bennett reiterated the government's commitment to continue to invest in crucial areas such as education and housing. The Minister also emphasized the need to close socio-economic gaps in order to further the self-government of Indigenous communities.
Through Budget 2019, the Government proposes to:
- Forgive all outstanding comprehensive claim negotiation loans and reimburse Indigenous governments that have already repaid these loans, to address rights and self-determination in communities.
- Ensure that First Nations children continue to have access to the services that they need through Jordan's Principle.
- Improve access to clean drinking water, supporting ongoing efforts to eliminate and prevent long-term drinking water advisories.
- Support the revitalization of Indigenous languages by implementing the proposed Indigenous Languages Act, supporting Indigenous-led language projects and creating the Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages.
- Help First Nations communities prepare for emergencies and adapt to the threats of climate change by supporting increased resiliency and emergency management services on-reserve, as well as investing in on-reserve infrastructure.
- Ensure that First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples are able to fully contribute to and share in Canada's economic success by supporting more Indigenous entrepreneurs and revitalizing Indigenous-led businesses, and institutions.
- Enable First Nations, Inuit and Métis students to have better access to post-secondary education, and provide more support to ensure that they can succeed during their studies.
With these investments, the Government is taking concrete action to advance reconciliation and make a better future for Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians.
"In the past communities have had to do the important work of reconstituting their nations and asserting their inherent right to self-determination and self-government by shouldering millions of dollars in debt. Last year we ended the practice of communities needing to take out loans to assert their rights, with Budget 2019 we are forgiving and repaying the loans for these groups that have concluded their treaties. This is about fairness for those who spent years and millions of dollars to negotiate agreements."
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
"I am pleased that my colleague, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, had the opportunity to visit La Tuque. The meeting with the Grand Chief of the Atikamekw Nation, Constant Awashish, demonstrates the partnership that our government is building with Indigenous nations across Canada. I am excited about the work we will be doing to assist these nations in their development."
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne
Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
Member of Parliament for Saint-Maurice – Champlain.
- With Budget 2019, the total federal government investments in Indigenous programs are more than $17 billion in 2021–22, an increase of 50 per cent compared to the year the Government was elected.
- Forgiving and reimbursing loans will allow more than 200 Indigenous communities to reinvest in their priorities like governance, infrastructure and economic development that will increase health and well-being for all community members.
- Since 2015, the Government has invested nearly $2 billion to build, repair and upgrade public water systems in First Nations communities, resulting in more than 80 long-term drinking water advisories being lifted, with the final goal of having all advisories lifted by 2021.
- To help First Nations children access important health and social services, Budget 2019 proposes to provide $1.2 billion over three years, beginning in 2019–20.
- To address the immediate needs of Inuit children who face a number of challenges accessing health and social services, Budget 2019 proposes to invest $220 million over five years, beginning in 2019–20.
- Budget Plan
- Budget Speech
- Backgrounder: The Canada Training Benefit
- Backgrounder: An Affordable Place to Call Home
- Backgrounder: Moving Forward on Implementing National Pharmacare
- Backgrounder: A Secure and Dignified Retirement for Canadians
- Backgrounder: Advancing Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples
- Backgrounder: Building a Better Canada: Universal High-Speed Internet
- Backgrounder: Strong Communities, Affordable Electricity and a Clean Economy
- Gender Report
- Investing in Young Canadians
- The Fiscal Monitor (Financial Results for January 2019)
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SOURCE Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC)
For further information: media may contact: Matthew Dillon-Leitch, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-934-2302, RCAANC.media.CIRNAC@canada.ca