North

Federal budget promises $300M for Northern housing

A $300 million commitment for Northern housing over the next 11 years highlights the promises made to Canada's territories in the 2017 federal budget.

Budget promises $40M a year, starting in 2018, to help communities reduce reliance on diesel

Minister of Finance Bill Morneau speaks during a press conference at the media lock-up, before tabling the budget in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Justin Tang/Canadian Press)

The 2017 federal budget is promising $300 million for Northern housing over the next 11 years.

According to the budget, tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Nunavut will receive the vast majority of that funding: $240 million.

The Yukon is slated to get $24 million and the Northwest Territories is being promised $36 million.

The budget claims the $300 million top up to the Investing Affordable Housing initiative will help 3,000 Northern families "find adequate, suitable and affordable housing."

Other budget highlights for Northerners include:

Cost of energy 

  • $400 million for an Arctic Energy Fund, for the "renewal and replacement of energy systems in northern communities, so that remote communities can reduce their reliance on diesel." The fund is scheduled to begin in 2018/19, with an investment of $40 million a year.
  • $21.4 million over four years to continue the Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity Program.

Health

  • $108 million over four years into the Territorial Health Investment Fund:
    • Yukon: $25.6 million,
    • Northwest Territories: $28.4 million,
    • Nunavut: $54 million.

Indigenous Guardians Pilot Project 

Mining tax credit extension

  • The 15-per-cent Mineral Exploration Tax Credit for junior exploration companies is being extended for an additional year. It was set to expire in March 2017.

Adult education

  • $14.7 million top up for the Northern Adult Education Program over three years.

Indigenous Post-Secondary Education

  • $90 million over two years for the Post-Secondary Student Support Program for Indigenous students.

Indigenous Skills Development

  • $50 million in 2017-2018 for the Access to Skills Development and Training for Indigenous Peoples program. "These investments will provide ASETS service providers with added capacity to meet the growing demand from Indigenous Peoples for skills development and job training."

Indigenous Tourism

  • $8.6 million over four years to support the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada's five‑year Indigenous Tourism Strategy.

Adapting to climate change

  • $83.8 million over five years to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to "enhance Indigenous community resilience through infrastructure planning and emergency management in those communities where flooding risks are increasing; and enhance resilience in northern communities by improving the design and construction of northern infrastructure."
  • $26.4 million over five years to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to support Indigenous collaboration on climate change.

Homelessness 

  • $2.1 billion over the next 11 years for the Homelessness Partnering Strategy across the country. This will extend the program past its 2018-19 expiry date.

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