Canada's Economic Action Plan - Budget 2009 Highlights

Aboriginal and Northern Investments

Effectively responding to Canada's global challenges must include focusing on both the short-term and long-term challenges facing Aboriginal and Northern Canadians.  The Government is committed to focusing on priorities so that Aboriginal and Northern Canadians can play an even greater role in the Canadian economy.  Budget 2009  invests $1.9 billion on the following Aboriginal and Northern priority issues.

The Government of Canada will continue to demonstrate progress on the investments outlined within Canada's Economic Action Plan related to Aboriginal and Northern peoples. We invite you to follow this progress as regular reports and announcements are made.

Housing in Nunavut a Priority for Government of Canada

Strengthening Partnerships With Aboriginal Canadians

The Government has made significant progress on Aboriginal issues over the past three years, working with willing partners to achieve tangible results. This new, practical approach of working with Aboriginal governments and organizations, provinces and territories, and the private sector to address clear priorities in an effective and targeted manner is paying off and producing results.

  • $200 million over three years to support Aboriginal skills and training to ensure Aboriginal readiness for opportunity-driven initiatives and to improve labour market outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.

    • $100 million over three years to the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Partnership initiative.

    • $75 million for the new two-year Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund.

    • $25 million to maintain the Aboriginal Human resources Development Strategy until April 2010.

  • $400 million to address First Nation on-reserve housing by supporting construction, remediation and complementary activities, such as lot servicing.

  • $515 million to support First Nation communities with urgent on-reserve infrastructure needs, which will concentrate on school construction, improving access to safe drinking water, and the remediation and replacement of crucial health and policing infrastructure.

    • two-year targeted funding of $200 million for the construction of 10 new schools on reserve and three major school renovation projects.

    • two-year targeted funding of $165 million for the completion of drinking water and wastewater infrastructure projects to address health and safety priorities in 18 First Nations communities across the country. 

    • $150 million over the next two years for the construction and renovation of First Nations critical community services infrastructure (health clinics, nurses' residences, policing infrastructure, etc.)

  • $325 million to continue practical partnership approaches with Aboriginal organizations and provincial and territorial governments on delivery of First Nations and Inuit Health programs and Child and Family Services.

    • $305 million over the next two years to strengthen current programs (Non-Insured Health Benefits and primary care services, improve health outcomes for First Nations and Inuit individuals, and move toward greater integration with provincial and territorial health systems.

    • $20 million over the next two years to implement concrete changes in child and family services on reserves, together with willing provinces and First Nations partners.

These new investments together with budget investments since 2006 represent $6.3 billion of new funding for Aboriginal Canadians.

Supporting Canada's Vision for the North 

Budget 2009 continues the implementation of the Government's vision for a new North with new measures that will protect and secure Canada's sovereignty and create more economic opportunities in the North. These include:

  • $50 million over five years to support economic development in the North through the creation of a new regional economic development agency for the North and $90 million over five years for a renewed Strategic Initiative for Northern Economic Development.

  • $200 million over two years for new and renovated social housing for low income Canadians in all three Northern Territories.

  • $87 million over two years to support the Government's commitment to Arctic Science, including investments in Northern research facilities, and preliminary work towards fulfilling the commitment to establish a Canadian High Arctic Research Station.

  • $38 million in 2009-10 in support of environmental assessments, regulatory coordination, science and Aboriginal consultations related to the Mackenzie Gas Project.

  • Up to $17 million to accelerate the construction of the Pangnirtung, Nunavut, small craft harbour.

  • New funding to accelerate work to clean up Federal contaminated sites, many of which are located in the North.

In addition, the Minister of Finance confirmed to his territorial counterparts in November 2008 that the Territorial Formula Financing transfer is growing on a sustainable growth path and that no changes will be made to the program. The Minister has confirmed that TFF payments for fiscal year 2009-10 to assist territorial governments to provide comparable programs and services to the rest of Canada at comparable levels of taxation will total $2.5 billion, an increase of $185 million over last year.

General Initiatives Benefiting Aboriginal and Northern People

Aboriginal peoples and northerners will also benefit from a number of general initiatives provided for all Canadians in Budget 2009  including initiatives such as those relating to tax relief, supporting workers affected by the global economic downturn, increased access to business financing, extending broadband coverage to unserved communities, the Community Adjustments Fund, the capital funds for First Nations railways and access to the Recreational Infrastructure Canada and the Green Infrastructure initiatives.

Reports: Impacts for Aboriginal People and Communities