Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada said that no Canadian should ever have to worry about where to get their food or how to receive essential health care services. That is why we are working with the territories and Indigenous partners to address the unique needs of northern communities as they respond to COVID-19. Together, we will make sure that Northerners can access the food, supplies, health care, and services they need during this challenging time.
Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs has said that our government has been working with northern and Indigenous partners to address the unique and critical needs of Northerners. These supports will ensure that northern residents have the supports they need to prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. From access to health services, to the continuation of the supply chain through air supports, and greater subsidies on essential items, we are taking actions to help Northerners when they need it most
Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport said we must all work together to take care of Canadians during this challenging time. Our northern and remote communities rely on air service to bring them food, medical supplies, mail, and other essential goods and services. Our government remains committed to maintaining a focused, safe, and reliable air transport network for these communities.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it is more important than ever to make sure that all Canadians have access to the quality food and essential health care they need. That is why the Government of Canada is working with partners, including territorial governments, to address the unique needs of Northerners.
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced additional support to address immediate health, economic, and transportation needs in the North. These measures will:
- transfer $72.6 million to the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut to support their COVID-19 health and social services preparations and response. This funding will help territories address the critical priorities they identified to minimize the spread of the virus.
- Provide up to $17.3 million to the governments of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut to support northern air carriers. This funding, in partnership with investments by the territorial governments, will ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods and services to remote and fly-in communities.
- make available $15 million in non-repayable support for businesses in the territories to help address the impacts of COVID-19. This support will assist businesses with operating costs not already covered by other Government of Canada measures.
- provide an additional $25 million to Nutrition North Canada to increase subsidies so families can afford much-needed nutritious food and personal hygiene products.
Northerners are also receiving help through the Harvesters Support Grant, which was developed in direct collaboration with Indigenous partners. The grant helps to improve food security by increasing access to traditional foods and alleviating the high costs associated with traditional hunting and harvesting activities.
The funding announced today builds on both the $500 million provided to provinces and territories, and the $305 million provided to Indigenous communities, as part of the Government of Canada’s response to COVID-19. The government will continue to work with all of our partners to keep Northerners and all Canadians safe and healthy. Together, we will provide all communities with the support they need to respond effectively to this crisis.