Canada investments to provide robust support for key areas of Northern economy

From: Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

May 13, 2021 – Iqaluit, Nunavut – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event, which brings unique challenges to businesses across the territories. CanNor has been there to support entrepreneurs and businesses since the beginning of the pandemic and continues to support their recovery by making strategic investments that help contribute to Canada’s economic recovery.

Through its $15 million Northern Business Relief Fund as well as its $34.3 million portion of the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund, CanNor has supported small- and medium-sized businesses across the territories in an investment of over $31.3 million maintaining over 1,685 jobs and supporting 565 businesses. This funding has gone a long way to help Northern businesses survive the pandemic and position them for a strong recovery.

CanNor makes strategic investments for the future

In addition to its relief funding, CanNor continues to support the territories through its full suite of regular economic development programming, some of which are designed to make foundational investments in economic infrastructure, sector development and capacity building to help position Northerners in the territories to take advantage of Canada’s innovation economy.

Moving forward, CanNor will continue to make strategic investments in the foundations and structures already in place in order to stimulate local economies, create jobs, and improve the quality of life of Northerners. Through funding of up to $3 million in the Fall Economic Statement and new funding introduced in Budget 2021, CanNor will be able to continue its pivotal role in supporting the recovery of communities and businesses in the territories to help build a vibrant Northern economy. CanNor will be delivering its share of funding for the following proposed Budget 2021 investments:

  • $700 million over three years through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Program to support business financing, positioning local economies for long-term growth by transitioning to a green economy, fostering an inclusive recovery and enhancing competitiveness;
  • $500 million over two years for a new Canada Community Revitalization Fund to stimulate local economies, create jobs and improve the quality of life for Canadians from coast to coast to coast; and
  • $500 million to establish a new Tourism Relief Fund that will help local tourism businesses in adapting their products and services to public health measures, support their recovery and position them for growth.

Furthermore, Budget 2021 proposes several investments to support the Northern economy:

  • $40.4 million to support feasibility and planning of hydroelectricity and grid interconnection projects in the North.
  • $8 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university.
  • $163.4 million to expand the Nutrition North Canada program and address food insecurity.

Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and towards a robust recovery. As the regional development agency for the North, CanNor will play a pivotal role in helping the Northern economy get back on track, stronger than before.

Quotes

“This past year has taught us the importance of investing in our local and regional economies as a way to build resilience and maintain vibrancy in our communities. The impact of CanNor’s support in Canada’s territories through the pandemic proves they are the right tool to create jobs, stimulate growth and help us come back stronger than ever, which is why we are proud to invest in their future through Budget 2021.”

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for CanNor

“CanNor plays a key role in supporting the unique territorial economies. Thanks to the Agency’s expertise and strong relationships with its territorial partners we are able to tailor funding and truly meet the needs of Northerners and Northern businesses to help them grow and prosper once more.”

Larry Bagnell, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency)

“CanNor’s ongoing support throughout the pandemic has been crucial to the survival of many businesses. The Government of Canada’s funding has gone a long way in helping entrepreneurs across the territories weather the economic impacts of the past year.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • CanNor’s Northern Business Relief Fund (NBRF) was designed to provide direct support for ongoing operating costs incurred by small- and medium-sized businesses across the territories, in order to help them continue to play their vital role in Northern communities.

  • The national Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), delivered through Canada’s regional development agencies, supported SMEs across Canada which were unable to access other relief measures and were in danger of falling through the cracks.

  • Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key measures for the North include:

    • Investing in Clean Energy in Northern and Indigenous Communities by:
      • Investing $40.4 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to support feasibility and planning of hydroelectricity and grid interconnection projects in the North. This funding could advance projects such as the Atlin Hydro Expansion Project in Yukon and the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link Project in Nunavut. Projects will provide clean power to northern communities and help reduce emissions from mining projects.
    • Supporting Post-secondary Education in the North through:
      • $8 million over two years, starting in 2021-22, to the Government of the Northwest Territories to support the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university. This would help create new opportunities in the Northwest Territories and prepare northerners for good jobs.
    • Ensuring Food Security in the North by providing:
      • $163.4 million over three years, starting in 2021-22, to expand the Nutrition North Canada program and enable the Minister of Northern Affairs to work directly with Indigenous partners, including in Inuit Nunangat, to address food insecurity.

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