Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

February 12, 2011 11:39 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Statement by the Honourable John Duncan Regarding Northern Food Costs

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 12, 2011) -

A correction from source is being issued with respect to the release sent out this morning at 10:00 AM EDT. The corrected version follows.

The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, issued the following statement today:

"I would like to provide clarity to the pricing of some food items recently mentioned in the media. These prices are not a result of the Nutrition North Canada program.

The Nutrition North Canada program is not yet in place. It is only on April 1, 2011, that the program will officially replace the Food Mail Program, which means only after April 1, 2011 will new subsidy rates come into effect. These rates will provide a higher level of subsidy for the most nutritious perishable foods such as fruits, vegetables, bread, meats, milk and eggs, as well as a lower level of subsidy for other items. Shoppers that are concerned about current grocery costs are encouraged to contact their local retailer.

Nutrition North Canada will be a sustainable and efficient way to help Northerners access healthy food. The new program provides an incentive to ensure that the most cost-effective ways of transporting non-perishable foods are used, such as the sea-lift. The new program will also provide flexibility to retailers and suppliers to seek cost-effective solutions that support access to nutritious, perishable foods. I want to be clear that this change is happening to ensure that Northerners benefit from improved and increased access to nutritious and affordable foods. These changes are designed to ensure that Northerners benefit from improved and increased access to nutritious and affordable foods.

With the new program, the flat shipping rates that were a feature of the Food Mail Program will be replaced by "subsidy rates" on a per kilogram basis for each category of eligible items, customized to every community to account for differences in transportation and operation costs. For example, the subsidy rate for Grise Fjord will be higher than the rate for Iqaluit.

This new program is based on extensive engagement with Northerners. I recently met with the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board, Northerners themselves, to discuss their mandate, which includes listening to Northerners and making recommendations about the program as it progresses.

Northerners have said they want a subsidy program focussed on the most nutritious foods and with greater accountability and transparency. I am confident that Nutrition North Canada will address these needs."

This statement is also available on the Internet at

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs