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Achieving Better Outcomes for First Nations through Infrastructure Investments

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Achieving Better Outcomes for First Nations through Infrastructure Investments OTTAWA, May 31, 2019 /CNW/ – Investments in the public infrastructure of First Nations communities improve the quality of life of their residents and give everyone an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of where they live. Following […]


Achieving Better Outcomes for First Nations through Infrastructure Investments

OTTAWA, May 31, 2019 /CNW/ - Investments in the public infrastructure of First Nations communities improve the quality of life of their residents and give everyone an equal opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of where they live.

Following a meeting between the regional chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations and several members of Cabinet, the Government of Canada pledged to continue working to improve the quality of life for First Nations people.

The partnership between the Government of Canada and First Nations is yielding steady progress – advancing reconciliation and forging a new relationship based on recognition of rights, respect and cooperation.

Since November 2015, the Government has improved essential infrastructure and built more resilient communities by dedicating more than $8.1 billion to First Nations infrastructure.

Furthermore, investments in First Nations communities are a key pillar of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. This plan addresses priorities such as: access to clean, safe drinking water; homes that are safe and uncrowded; and improvements to other essential community infrastructure. The Plan has already produced concrete results. They include:

  • Providing more First Nations residents with clean drinking water with the lifting of more than 80 long-term drinking water advisories on public systems on-reserve;
  • Improving the resilience of Indigenous communities to adapt to the intensifying impacts of climate change through more than 340 projects that protect Indigenous Peoples and help their communities withstand damage from extreme weather events;
  • Creating cleaner, healthier places for First Nations to live by improving solid-waste management for 406,000 people in 455 communities;
  • Providing safe, high-quality housing for 443,000 Indigenous Peoples in more than 560 communities by building and renovating more than 16,000 affordable housing units on-reserve and 290 housing units in Inuit and northern communities;
  • Providing more than 258,000 First Nations youth with a good education by building more than 70 new on-reserve schools and upgrading more than 80 schools in 224 communities;
  • Giving the youngest members of First Nations, Inuit and Métis the best start in life by renovating more than 790 early learning and child-care sites that support more than 8,500 child-care spaces in 486 communities;
  • Extending high-speed internet to 190 Indigenous communities, which enables entrepreneurs and businesses to participate in the global and digital economy; students to learn new skills; and busy families to shop online, pay their bills and access essential services.

But there's always more work to be done to build a better Canada. Among other things, the Government of Canada will work more closely with First Nations to develop a comprehensive view of the stock, condition and performance of their infrastructure.

Quote

"Our government recognizes that Indigenous communities have unique infrastructure needs. Through the Investing in Canada plan, we are providing targeted funding to support the health and well-being Indigenous communities. We are making historic investments in infrastructure projects that provide Indigenous peoples with clean drinking water, more reliable energy solutions, affordable housing units, and access to high-speed internet while also better protecting the environment."

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada's Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

"First Nations know what is best for their children, their families and their communities. Investments in First Nations infrastructure help support the work of First Nation partners to provide services that meet the needs of youth in their communities and help children and families stay together. Our government values the partnership with Indigenous communities to work with them to build infrastructure that improves the quality of life and preserves culture while contributing to economic growth and community development."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

"In addition to investments in infrastructure, our government has introduced a co-developed Bill which seeks to reclaim, revitalize, strengthen, and maintain Indigenous Languages. In Budget 2019, we have invested $334 million dollars in Indigenous languages initiatives. Our language is who we are, and how we pass our traditions and stories to our children."

The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism

"We have before us an opportunity to deliver true, meaningful and lasting reconciliation that fulfills the promise and potential of Section 35 of our Constitution. Working in partnership with First Nation governments and communities, we will support adequate and sustainable housing, clean drinking water and community infrastructure such as schools, roads, and wastewater systems, which are essential to healthy, safe and prosperous communities."

The Honourable David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Quick facts

  • Under the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit; green infrastructure such as clean water and wastewater systems; social infrastructure such as affordable housing and community recreation facilities; trade and transportation routes; and renewed infrastructure for rural and northern communities.
  • Infrastructure Canada is one of 14 federal departments and agencies that are delivering over 90 infrastructure funding programs under the Investing in Canada plan.
  • Among the programs benefitting Indigenous Peoples is the $2-billion Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund, which is helping communities build the infrastructure they need to better withstand natural hazards such as floods, wildfires, earthquakes and droughts.
  • Another program benefitting Indigenous Peoples is the Smart Cities Challenge, a pan-Canadian competition open to all municipalities, local or regional governments and Indigenous communities. The Challenge encourages communities to use data and connected technology to improve the lives of their residents.
  • In August 2018, the Government of Canada launched the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge to fund creative approaches for the design and construction of Indigenous-led home and community innovation projects for First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples living in rural and urban communities.

Associated links

Building a Better Canada: A Progress Report on the Investing in Canada Plan 2016-2019: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/icp-report-rapport-pic-eng.html

Investing in Canada plan project map: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/gmap-gcarte/index-eng

Funding Delivered under the Investing in Canada Plan:

http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/plan/funding-financement-eng.html

Funding programs administered by Infrastructure Canada: http://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/prog/programs-infc-summary-eng.html

SOURCE Infrastructure Canada

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