ARCHIVED - Horizontal Initiatives: Nutrition North Canada


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Name of lead department(s):

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC)

Lead department program:

Northern Governance and People

Start date of the Horizontal Initiative:

April 1, 2011

End date of the Horizontal Initiative:


Total federal funding allocation (start date to end date):

$301,359,500 over five years

Description of the horizontal initiative (including funding agreement):

The objective of AANDC's food subsidy program is to make healthy foods more accessible and affordable to residents of isolated northern communities.

Registered retailers in the North, country food processors/distributors located in eligible communities, and food suppliers in the South who supply small retailers, institutions and individuals in these isolated communities, can apply for a subsidy based on the weight of eligible foods shipped by air to eligible northern communities. These subsidies are to be passed on to northern consumers by appropriate reductions in the selling prices of eligible foods. The terms of the funding arrangements with AANDC's subsidy recipients (northern and southern retailers/wholesalers) will be governed by contribution agreements.

Since price is not the only factor that influences consumption, the Program will be supported by targeted Health Canada initiatives that encourage the purchase, preparation and consumption of healthy foods. Funding will flow to communities via contribution agreements with Aboriginal communities/organizations, and/or territorial governments.

Shared outcome(s):

By making nutritious food more accessible and affordable, the Program seeks to increase its consumption and contribute to better overall health of the population, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. It is expected that the subsidy will help lower the prices of nutritious foods in the North. In combination with complementary health promotion activities, it is expected that consumption of these foods will increase in the short and mid-term, and that in the longer term more individuals living in eligible communities are expected to adopt healthier eating patterns which will contribute to decreases in the rates of chronic and infectious diseases.

Governance structure(s):

An Oversight Committee and an external Advisory Board were created to provide direction and oversight for the new Program. The role of the Oversight Committee is to monitor the achievement of Program objectives and the effectiveness of cost containment measures, and provide strategic direction to Program managers on Program policy and operational matters. AANDC chairs the committee and seeks advice from Health Canada on health and nutrition-related issues, and from Transport Canada on transportation-related issue such as the impacts of the new Program on northern air services.

The Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board will be composed of five to seven members who represent the perspectives and interests of northern residents and communities in relation to the management and effectiveness of the Program.

Performance highlights:

After three years of operation, the Nutrition North Canada (NNC) program is well implemented and on track to achieve the immediate outcomes in line with the NNC Performance Measurement Framework:

Phase 1 of a News Canada campaign featuring radio and video news segments. The segments were developed and approved.

Federal PartnersPAA ProgramsContributing activities/programsTotal Allocation (from start date to end date)
($ millions)
2013–14 ($ millions)
* Performance indicators are defined in the Performance Measurement Strategies and/or Performance Measurement Frameworks (PMF) of each federal partner.
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada Northern Governance and People Nutrition North 286.9 Planned spending:57.2

Actual spending: 66.2

Expected results: Consumption of nutritious food in eligible communities

Contributing activity/program results (using specific indicators)*: As an indicator of consumption of nutritious food, the estimated weight of eligible food purchased per capita is expected to increase annually. For the period of 2013–2014, there were 277 kilograms per capita of fully eligible subsidized foods shipped. This represents a 4% increase over the volume of the same food shipped in 2012–2013.

Health Canada First Nations and Inuit Primary Health Care Nutrition North Canada Nutrition Education Initiatives 14.5
(2011–2012 to
and on-going
annually at 2.9)
Planned spending:2.9

Actual spending: 2.7

Expected results:

  • 71 communities served by NNC nutrition education initiatives
  • 1,000 NNC nutrition education initiatives supported

Contributing activity/program results (using specific indicators)*:

  • Achived. 71 communities served by Nutrition North Canada (NNC) nutrition education initiatives.
  • Exceeded. 1,100 NNC nutrition education initiatives supported such as: promotion of healthy foods, cooking skills classes, youth-focussed activities, in-store taste tests and grocery store tours as well as activities to support traditional or country food knowledge and skills.
Total 301.4 Total planned spending:60.1

Total actual spending: 68.9

Comments on Variances:

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

The $9 million variance between planned and actual spending for the 2013–2014 period is attributed to growth in demand for subsidized food.

Health Canada

Actual spending was lower than planned in 2013–2014 as Health Canada was able to identify efficiencies such as the use of teleconference/videoconference discussions, coordinating travel to communities and offering joint training sessions to support multiple programs. This allowed for the sharing of program delivery costs with other program areas.

Results Achieved by Non-Federal Partners (if applicable):

The Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board held two face-to-face meetings in 2013–2014. The Board met with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to discuss their observations and to provide advice and recommendations Following the first year of the program, the Board communicated the activities and the issues it considered in its First Report of the Advisory Board: for the Period February 2011-March 2012, which is available in the Advisory Board section of the Program website.

Contact information:

Christopher McDonell
Strategic Partnerships Initiative
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
Telephone: 819-994-7219

Date modified: