Budget 2015 Highlights – Aboriginal and Northern Investments

Budget 2015: Strong Leadership: A balanced-budget, low-tax plan for jobs, growth and security

Budget 2015 announced investments that focus on jobs, growth and long-term prosperity. The plan proposes to invest approximately $567 million over five years for Aboriginal people and Northerners to help build stronger communities.

Creating Jobs and Economic Growth

  • $249 million over five years beginning in 2015-16 to support Aboriginal labour market programming. Of this amount, $215 million is allotted to the Skills and Partnership Fund, which provides skills development and training for Aboriginal peoples, in partnership with businesses and other levels of government.

Strong Communities

Budget 2015 is investing in Aboriginal communities with a goal to increase economic opportunities for Aboriginal peoples.

  • $30 million over five years for the expansion of the First Nations Land Management Regime to create further opportunities for economic development on reserve.
  • $8 million ($2 million per year ongoing, beginning in 2016-17) for mental wellness teams serving First Nations communities.
  • $11 million over four years, startingin 2016-17, to support the Surveys on Aboriginal People.

Strong Communities: Education

  • $200 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to improve First Nations education. The proposed investment in the Strong Schools, Successful Students Initiative will support the First Nation Student Success Program and the Education Partnerships Program.
  • $12 million over three years to Indspire to provide post-secondary scholarships and bursaries for First Nations and Inuit students. At least $1 million of this amount will be devoted to supporting students pursuing an education in the skilled trades.

Fostering Trade: Supporting the Canadian Sealing Industry

  • $6 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to help secure new market access for Canadian seal products

Strong Communities: Protecting Canada's Environment

  • $34 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to continue to support meteorological and navigational warning services in the Arctic.

Safe and Secure Shipping

  • $17 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, for measures in the Arctic including investments to strengthen marine navigation safety by improving charting of the seafloor, designing navigation aids, engaging local and Aboriginal communities, as well as strengthening prevention, preparedness and response capacity.

Aboriginal people and Northerners may benefit from a range of initiatives in Budget 2015, such as the expanded Universal Child Care Benefit and new Family Tax Cut, as well as initiatives such as:

Responsible Resource Development

  • $135 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of project approvals through the Major Projects Management Office Initiative.
  • $34 million over five years, starting in 2015-16, to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to continue to support consultations related to projects assessed under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012.

Strong Communities: Protecting Canada's Environment

  • $99.6 million over four years ($1.35 billion on a cash basis), starting in 2016-17, to renew support for the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan. Since the Action Plan began, 750 sites have been remediated and a further 7,100 sites have been assessed to determine whether contamination has occurred.

Increasing Borrowing Limits for the Northwest Territories and Nunavut

  • Budget 2015 proposes to increase the borrowing limit for the Government of the Northwest Territories to $1.3 billion and for the Government of Nunavut to $650 million, upon Governor in Council approval.
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