Statement from the Honourable Carolyn Bennett on Budget 2016's Proposed Funding for Infrastructure in Indigenous Communities

CALGARY, April  26, 2016 /CNW/ - The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, issued the following statement today regarding Budget 2016's proposed infrastructure funding for Indigenous communities:

Today, I was inspired by the important dialogue with Indigenous leaders of the Technical Services Advisory Council (TSAG) on the importance of infrastructure to social and economic well-being of Indigenous communities.

Investing in infrastructure is about investing in people and communities. It's about improving the quality of life of Indigenous communities—by ensuring people have quality housing, safe drinking water, better schools, improved access to early learning and child care, safe shelters and cultural and recreational spaces and facilities that bring people together as a community. Yet for many Indigenous communities, transformational change is needed to ensure basic infrastructure needs are met, and existing infrastructure can be repaired and improved.

That's why Budget 2016 proposes historic investments of $4.6 billion over five years to support infrastructure in First Nation and Inuit communities. These investments will help meet the needs of those communities, while protecting health, safety and the environment, and bringing jobs and inclusive growth.

Specifically, Budget 2016 includes:

  • $1.8 billion over five years to support clean drinking water and the treatment of wastewater on reserve;
  • $969.4 million over five years for First Nation education facilities;
  • $732 million over two years to address housing needs on reserve and in Inuit and northern communities;
  • $255 million over two years for other First Nation community infrastructure – including roads, bridges, energy systems, connectivity, disaster mitigation and fire protection;
  • $409 million over five years to improve waste management on reserve;
  • $270.2 million over five years to expand and enhance health facilities in First Nations communities;
  • $29.4 million over one year for repairs and renovations of Indigenous early learning and child care facilities;
  • $76.9 million over two years to support the construction of cultural and recreational facilities on reserve; and
  • $10.4 million over three years for renovations and the construction of new shelters for victims of family violence in First Nations communities.

These investments lay the foundation for a long-term investment strategy in First Nation and in Inuit and northern community infrastructure, in order to build healthy, safe and prosperous communities. It's about a new partnership, about reconciliation, and about working together for a brighter future for Indigenous peoples and a stronger Canada.

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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SOURCE Government of Canada

For further information: please contact: Sabrina Williams, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, 819-953-1160

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