Support for First Nations infrastructure
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What is it?
The New Building Canada Plan includes dedicated funding for First Nations infrastructure under the Gas Tax Fund and the National Infrastructure Component of the New Building Canada Fund. This funding will be allocated to the First Nations Infrastructure Fund managed by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.
Why is it important?
Through the New Building Canada Plan, the Government continues to provide dedicated funding for First Nations communities. $272 million from the Building Canada Fund and the Gas Tax Fund has been provided for projects such as roads, bridges, energy systems and schools. Combined with other funding sources, 142 road and bridge projects have been completed, and 41 energy systems have been funded in First Nations communities across the country.
Funding allocated from the New Building Canada Fund and the Gas Tax Fund will be at least equivalent to the level of funding allocated under the 2007 Building Canada Plan.
How does it work?
First Nations communities will continue to benefit from the permanent and indexed federal Gas Tax Fund over the next decade. Federal Gas Tax Fund allocations for First Nations will continue to be based on First Nations population on reserve. From 2014 to 2019, this will represent $139 million. The First Nations allocation for 2019 to 2024 will be determined based on 2016 census data. An additional $155 million over 10 years will be allocated from the National Infrastructure Component of the New Building Canada Fund.
On top of the funding from the Gas Tax Fund and the New Building Canada Fund, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada also invests over $1 billion annually through its First Nations community infrastructure programming. This is an important source of support for infrastructure development on reserve.
The First Nations Infrastructure Fund focuses on five priority areas: improving First Nations energy systems (linking to power grids, sustainable energy systems), broadband connectivity, solid waste management (including landfills and recycling), road and bridge projects, and community planning and/or skills development projects that will support long-term sustainable community development of First Nation communities.
While funding for on-reserve infrastructure is delivered mainly through Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, any Aboriginal community or organization, including a First Nation, may submit proposals under the $14 billion New Building Canada Fund for projects aligned with the parameters of the program, and with benefits extending beyond the reserve community.
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