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Government of Canada to provide support to communities in Nunavut to address the COVID-19 pandemic

Press Release

From: Indigenous Services Canada

May 11, 2021 — Ottawa, Traditional unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada / Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting First Nations, Inuit and Métis, and is working closely with territorial governments, Indigenous partners and community organizations across the North to manage the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of all Northerners.

In response to the evolving developments in Iqaluit, Kinngait and Rankin Inlet amid the increase in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, announced that the Government of Canada is providing more than $19 million in additional and immediate support to the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated (NTI) through a combination of new and expanded federal transfers, or in-kind spending. These supports include

Up to $7,145,000 to the Government of Nunavut, including

  • $3 million to support individuals or families in isolation (e.g., providing food and other social supports)
  • $500,000 to increase enforcement of public health orders in communities with active COVID-19 cases
  • $500,000 for municipal services support, for example, to increase capacity to operate water and sewage trucks and deliver other essential municipal services
  • Up to $750,000 in reallocated funding for the purchase of IT equipment and associated supports to assist Nunavut Arctic College in its efforts to migrate to distance learning
  • Up to $2.39 million to support early learning and child care services, including COVID-19 safety measures, to be finalized through the 2021–22 Bilateral Agreement.

$12.3 million to NTI, including

  • $5,775,300 to support food security in communities with active cases
  • $835,100 to assist with costs for Inuit residing in communities with active cases who need to isolate on the land
  • $4.2 million to support the costs of those who need hotel accommodations to isolate
  • $1.5 million for IT equipment and increased bandwidth for K to12 students and college students in the affected communities.

We are optimistic that active COVID-19 case counts will decrease as COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out in all 25 communities in Nunavut and people continue adhering to public health measures. This support will help communities better manage the impacts of the latest outbreaks.

Inuit communities, organizations and partners, and the Government of Nunavut and the Government of Canada continue to work together to protect their communities. This work has fostered key partnerships that have provided significant and meaningful support in the fight against COVID-19 across the country.

With today’s announcement, since the beginning of the pandemic, Indigenous Services Canada has provided more than $137.8 million in combined COVID-19 support to communities in Nunavut.

Quotes

“The roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, combined with continued adherence to public health measures, will help bring us closer to the end of the pandemic. The recent outbreaks in Iqaluit and Kinngait have shown that we can’t let our guards down. We must continue to take measures to protect our families and our communities against the threat of COVID-19. Our top priority is keeping people safe. Today’s announcement will help ease the burden for those who are impacted by this latest outbreak.”

The Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services

“Our government recognizes the unique challenges faced by Nunavummiut in the fight against COVID-19. That is why we are providing immediate support to the Government of Nunavut and Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated to get through this outbreak, ensuring Nunavummiut and Northerners are healthy and safe. I encourage all Nunavummiut and Northerners to remain vigilant, continue to follow the public health guidelines and get vaccinated. Together, we will get through this and finish the fight against COVID-19.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs

Quick facts

  • Budget 2021 proposes to provide an additional $1.2 billion in 2021–22 to continue supporting the COVID-19 response in Indigenous communities as follows:
    • $478.1 million on a cash basis to continue to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities, including support to hire nurses, help at-risk people to isolate and distribute personal protective equipment.
    • An additional $760.8 million for the Indigenous Community Support Fund to help First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, as well as urban and off-reserve Indigenous organizations serving Indigenous Peoples meet the unique needs of their populations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Associated links

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Adrienne Vaupshas
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Miller
Minister of Indigenous Services
[email protected]

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
[email protected]

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
819-934-2302
[email protected]

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