Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

October 03, 2007 10:33 ET

Canada's New Government Helps First Nations Build and Improve Community Infrastructure

GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Oct. 3, 2007) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Assembly of First Nations Regional Chief (Yukon), Rick O'Brien, today announced a simplified process for First Nation communities to access funding to improve infrastructure on reserves.

"Canada's New Government is making it easier and faster for FN's communities in the provinces to access increased funding for infrastructure projects," said Minister Strahl. "I am confident that this simplified approach will increase efficiency and streamline access to infrastructure funding for First Nations governments which will ultimately improve the quality of life in these communities."

The First Nations Infrastructure Fund (FNIF) simplifies access to infrastructure funding by combining three existing funds: the First Nations component of Infrastructure Canada's Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund and Gas Tax Fund, as well as contributions from INAC's Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program.

The fund will be available for projects aimed at improving solid waste management, energy systems, roads and bridges, and planning and skills development. It builds upon existing INAC infrastructure programs that directly target water and wastewater projects, housing and other infrastructure on reserves.

"Canada's New Government is supporting improvements to public infrastructure in First Nations communities that will ultimately enhance quality of life and protect the environment," said Minister Cannon. "The First Nations Infrastructure Fund complements the infrastructure investments being made in communities across the country through Building Canada, the Government of Canada's new long-term infrastructure plan that provides $33 billion towards infrastructure investments over the next seven years."

"One of the biggest challenges facing First Nations communities is infrastructure so we welcome today's announcement of a streamlined approach to access infrastructure funding," Assembly of First Nations Yukon Regional Chief Rick O'Brien said. "First Nations can benefit from these additional resources, we look forward to continuing to work with the federal government to make the fiscal investments that are needed in First Nation communities."

The FNIF is a collaborative initiative that has been developed by Infrastructure Canada and INAC, in discussion with the Assembly of First Nations. It is a project-based proposal driven program aimed at helping First Nations improve infrastructure on reserve. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2007.

The FNIF is open to First Nation communities in the ten provinces. Communities in the three territories have received infrastructure funding through the federal-territorial Gas Tax Fund and Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund agreements, and will continue to receive increased funding under the Building Canada Infrastructure Plan.

This news release is available at http://www.inac.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • INAC Minister's Office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Philippe Mailhot
    819-997-0002
    or
    INAC's Media Relations Unit
    819-953-1160
    or
    AFN
    Josee Bellemare
    Bilingual Communications Officer
    613-241-6789 (336)
    or
    Infrastructure Canada Minister's Office
    Karine White
    Press Secretary of the Honourable Lawrence Cannon
    613-991-0700
    or
    Infrastructure Canada
    613-948-1148