The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Northern and remote First Nation communities which depend on supply chains for the delivery of essential goods and services. As the pandemic evolves, Canada and Ontario continue to work with remote First Nation communities and the air industry to address the unique needs of these communities.
Today, Canada’s Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs, the Honourable Greg Rickford, and the Ontario Minister of Transportation, the Honourable Caroline Mulroney, announced support for remote airports serving First Nation communities in Ontario. The Government of Canada is investing over $5.1 million to support essential air access for remote communities and Ontario is investing $14.5 million to operate remote airports in 2021/22.
The investment announced today is in addition to the more than $11.1 million in federal funding and the $14.2 million in provincial funding already provided in 2020/21 to maintain essential air services and to operate airports in remote communities in Ontario. The province also provided a further $4 million to ensure continued safe operations during the pandemic.
This financial contribution will help maintain minimum levels of air transportation services to remote First Nation communities in Ontario to ensure continued access to essential goods and services, including community resupply of food and medical supplies.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario will continue to work collaboratively to ensure essential transportation and supply chains for Northern and remote First Nation communities are protected for the health, safety and well-being of residents.