OTTAWA, April 1, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, today announced further strides in improving the transparency and accountability of the Nutrition North Canada (NNC) program.
As of April 1, 2015, a new clause, part of the 2015-2016 funding agreements for all NNC registered retailers serving the NNC-eligible communities, requires them to make profit margin information available to independent auditors retained by the department to undertake compliance reviews. This new requirement responds directly to the recommendation of the Auditor General of Canada in chapter 6 of his report, released on November 25, 2014.
The Government of Canada remains committed to improving the program to meet its goals as efficiently as possible in a transparent way. To that end, last week, Minister Valcourt directed the Advisory Board to examine how to implement point of sale measures and provide the federal government with advice and recommendations on its application by June 1, 2015.
Such a system will improve the transparency of the program, ultimately benefitting northern consumers and families.
- Nutrition North Canada (NNC) is a Government program that was launched on April 1, 2011, to provide Northerners with improved access to nutritious and perishable food at a lower price than in the absence of a program.
- Results for the cost of the Revised Northern Food Basket for a family of four dropped on average by 7.2 per cent, or approximately $137 per month between April 2011 and March 2014. According to Statistics Canada, food prices elsewhere in Canada increased on average by approximately 5.5 per cent over the same time period.
- The program is achieving better results than anticipated in reducing food prices. As of March 2014, the Northern Revised Food Basket is 1.4% lower than March 2013 According to Statistics Canada, food prices elsewhere in Canada increased 1.6% between March 2013 and March 2014.
- In total, during this year and next year, the Government of Canada will invest $133.7 million in direct subsidies for nutritious foods for Northerners.
"Our Government is committed to continue increasing access to healthy, perishable foods in Northern communities. The implementation of this amendment is an important step forward in our work to continually improve upon this program and increase access to perishable, nutritious foods in isolated northern communities."
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
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SOURCE Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
For further information: Emily Hillstrom, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160