THUNDER BAY – POLITICS – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler has responded to the release of the Government of Ontario’s Budget 2019, which reduces the budget of the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs while promising far-reaching investments to support First Nations:
“The first budget by the Ford government makes many commitments to improve access to education, skills and training, and economic development but is lacking in specifics for NAN First Nations. We are concerned with the funding reduction for the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and the impact that it will have on the delivery of programs and services to our First Nations. This budget acknowledges several ongoing activities with our First Nations, and we are hopeful the government will maintain those commitments. We look forward to details of the budget’s implementation and learning how all ministries will support the work of this government to fulfill its Treaty obligations to NAN First Nations.”
NAN will look for specific detail on many aspects of Budget 2019 including:
- Repeal of the Far North Act and investments in resource and economic development, including northern transportation to improve access to remote communities and how existing resource revenue sharing agreements will be implemented;
- Investments to community mental health and addictions over 10 years, and homecare investments; and
- Cuts to the Ministry of Children Community and Social Services and how it will impact special needs funding for NAN First Nations.
NAN looks forward to collaborating with the Government of Ontario on existing projects identified in the budget and working together to ensure the province fulfills its duty to consult on the development of new opportunities for our member Nations.