Nutrition North Canada

General information

Lead department: Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Federal partner organizations: Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)Footnote 1

Start date of the horizontal initiative: April 1, 2011

End date of the horizontal initiative: Ongoing

Total federal funding allocation (start to end date) in dollars: $417,414,103 over six years

Total federal planned spending to date (dollars): $417,414,103

Total federal actual spending to date (dollars): $342,890,778

Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Governance structures: The Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board gives Northerners a direct voice in the Program. The Board provides information and advice to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to help guide the direction and activities of the Program, and to ensure that northern residents receive its full benefits. Members of the Board collectively represent the perspectives and interests of northern residents and communities in relation to the management and effectiveness of the Program. Members serve in their own right, as volunteers and not as representatives of any particular organization, area or special interest. Members are appointed to a three-year term.

Contact information

Results information

Description of the horizontal initiative: The objective of the Nutrition North Canada Program is to help make perishable, nutritious food more accessible and more affordable than it otherwise would be to residents of eligible isolated northern communities without year-round surface (road, rail or marine) access.

Registered retailers in the North, country food processors/distributors located in eligible communities, and food suppliers 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 Nutrition North Canada Program — National Manual governs the terms of the funding agreements with INAC's subsidy recipients.

Given that there are a number of factors that influence healthy eating patterns other than food cost, Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada complement the Nutrition North Canada retail subsidy by providing funding to support culturally appropriate retail and community-based nutrition education initiatives. These initiatives aim to increase knowledge of healthy eating and develop skills for the selection and preparation of healthy store-bought and traditional or country foods. Funding flows to communities via contribution agreements with Indigenous communities and organizations, and/or territorial governments.

Fiscal year of planned completion of next evaluation: The evaluation of Nutrition North Canada is planned to be completed in fiscal 2017–2018. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada will be leading the evaluation in partnership with Health Canada.

Shared outcome of federal partners: The ultimate outcome of the Program is to strengthen the nutritional choices and overall health of isolated northern communities through the food subsidy delivered by INAC and the targeted nutrition education initiatives delivered by Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Performance indicators:
Performance indicator-1: Percentage of population reporting their health is excellent or very good (Health Canada)
Performance indicator-2: Quantity of subsidized foods (kg) per capita by each category (INAC)

Targets:
Target-1: At least 45% of adults report that their health is excellent or very good by March 31, 2017 (Health Canada)
Target-2: Stable or increasing from the 2011 baseline year (INAC)

Data source and frequency of monitoring and reporting:
Data source-1: Regional Health Survey, Aboriginal Peoples Survey, and Canadian Community Health Survey;
Frequency-1: Regional Health Survey: every five years, Aboriginal Peoples Survey: every five years, and Canadian Community Health Survey: every two years.
Data source-2: Nutrition North Canada (NNC) Database;
Frequency-2: Annually (INAC)

Expected outcome or result of non-federal and non-governmental partners: Not applicable

Planning information

Planning highlights: In 2017–2018, INAC will help to alleviate the high cost of food in the North by making perishable, nutritious food more accessible and more affordable to residents of isolated northern communities through the provision of the Nutrition North Canada food subsidy. The Department has revised community eligibility criteria to expand the NNC program to include all northern communities without year-round rail, road or marine access. In total, 121 communities are now eligible for receipt of the full range of program benefits. In addition, the Program funds nutrition education activities in remote northern communities eligible for a retail subsidy to increase knowledge of healthy eating and to develop skills to choose and prepare healthy foods.

In keeping with the Government’s commitment to open dialogue, INAC has completed its NNC Engagement Process, which included the conduct of community visits, stakeholder interviews, written submissions, and online surveys. Through this feedback, in 2017–2018 the Department will work with NNC partners to collaboratively develop policy options to inform program updates and to develop strategies to support long-term program sustainability.

In 2017–2018, Health Canada will support full implementation of Nutrition North Canada Nutrition Education Initiatives to the 33 First Nations communities that were newly added in 2016–2017 as well as support stakeholder engagement on updates to Nutrition North Canada program.

In 2017–2018, PHAC will fund projects that support residents in eligible communities to increase their knowledge of healthy eating, preparation of healthy food, and access to retail and community-based nutrition education initiatives.

Nutrition North Canada faces a number of risks that must be managed in order to achieve expected outcomes. Key risks to the program include concerns that the current budget allocation may not be sufficient for future program demands; there could be an increased demand by additional northern communities to opt into the Program; the Program will continue to be seen by the public and media as the solution to food insecurity in the North; and, the public perception that the retailers are not passing along the subsidy to the consumers.

In response to these concerns, the Program has developed a risk assessment strategy that outlines key mitigation activities that are integrated into program management and administration, and will be further explored as part of the upcoming development of policy options.

Planning summary
Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start to end date) (dollars) 2017–2018 Planned spending (dollars) 2017–2018 Expected results 2017–2018 Performance indicators 2017–2018 Targets
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada — Strategic Outcome: Self-reliance, prosperity and well-being for the people and communities of the North — Program 4.1 Northern Governance and People and sub program 4.1.2 Nutrition North — Government priorities: Work with the Minister of Health to update and expand the Nutrition North Program, in consultation with northern communities.
Nutrition North $398,165,905 (2011–2012 to 2016–2017) $89,072,123 Affordability of perishable, nutritious food in eligible communities is strengthened. (PAA 4.1) Annual trend of the Revised Northern Food Basket At or below the annual trend (increase/decrease) for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) basket for food by March 31, 2017
Residents in eligible communities have access to nutritious perishable food at a subsidized rate. (PAA 4.1.2) Percentage of compliance/audit reports demonstrating that subsidies have been fully passed on to consumers 100% by March 31, 2017
Percentage implementation of the new requirement for major northern retailers to show subsidy saving at the till receipt 100% by March 31, 2017
Annual percentage variation in the quantity of subsidized items shipped by air 3 to 5% by March 31, 2017
Health Canada — Strategic Outcome: First Nations and Inuit communities and individuals receive health services and benefits that are responsive to their needs so as to improve their health status — Program 3.1: First Nations and Inuit Primary Health Care and sub-sub-program 3.1.1.3 First Nations and Inuit Healthy Living — Government priorities: N/A
Nutrition North Canada Nutrition Education Initiatives $14,500,000 (2011–2012 to 2015–2016)
$21,766,000 (2016–2017 to 2020–2021) and $4,363,200 ongoing
$4,343,200 Residents in eligible communities have knowledge of healthy eating and skills and are choosing and preparing healthy foods. Percentage of funding recipients reporting knowledge of healthy eating and skills among residents in eligible communities. Target for knowledge and skills will be established after first data collection in 2016–2017.
Residents in eligible communities have access to retail and community based nutrition education initiatives Number of communities promoting nutrition education activities 100% of funding recipients
Number and types of activities (by target population groups, venues) Funding recipients provide activities to 2 or more target populations (e.g. women, seniors, children, and youth) in 2 or more venues (e.g. grocery stores, schools, on the land) by March 31, 2017.
Public Health Agency of Canada — Strategic Outcome: Protecting Canadians and empowering them to improve their health — Program 1.2 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and sub-sub-program 1.2.2.1 Healthy Child Development — Government priorities: N/A
Nutrition North Canada Nutrition Education Initiatives $405,000 in 2016–2017 and 2017–2018, $395,000 in 2018–2019, $385,000 in 2019–2020 and ongoing $405,000 Residents in eligible communities have knowledge of healthy eating and skills and are choosing and preparing healthy foods Percentage of funding recipients reporting knowledge of healthy eating and skills among residents in eligible communities Target to be established after first year of data collection in 2017–2018
Number of participants by type of nutrition education activity
Residents in eligible communities have access to retail and community based nutrition education initiatives Number of communities promoting nutrition education activities
Number and types of activities (by target population groups, venues)
Community workers are trained to deliver retail and community based nutrition education activities in eligible communities Percentage of funding recipients with trained NNC community workers to deliver programming
Total for all federal organizations $417,414,103 $93,820,323  
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