Minister Vandal hosts meeting of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework Leadership Committee
December 15, 2021 — Ottawa, Ontario — Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Through the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (the Framework), the Government of Canada is working in partnership with the people of the North and the Arctic to develop long-lasting opportunities that support the region’s unique needs and protect its rich natural environment while building a strong, dynamic and sustainable economy.
Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, met with Indigenous and territorial and provincial partners to the Framework to identify key priorities ahead of Budget 2022 and to discuss approaches to regional governance.
Today’s meeting provided an important forum for partners to identify both immediate needs in advance of Budget 2022 and longer-term priorities, including COVID-19 recovery investments as we build back better. Under the Framework, partners’ inputs have been informing targeted federal investments that meet the needs of Northerners and supporting Indigenous community-based solutions to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Partners also had the opportunity to report on regional governance approaches, which have been discussed over the past months as a means of facilitating the co-implementation of the Framework’s goals and objectives. The implementation of these goals will showcase innovation and demonstrate results while also helping to close gaps for Northerners and create a lasting legacy of sustainable economic development.
Federal budgets since 2019 have included measures to support the implementation of the Framework and complement existing efforts to strengthen Arctic and northern communities. These include commitments to address food insecurity; support planning for major northern infrastructure projects, partners’ climate change priorities, and immediate housing and infrastructure needs; and advance educational initiatives, including the construction of a new science building at Yukon University, the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university and the ongoing work of the Task Force on Northern Post-Secondary Education.
“Since the launch of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework in 2019, important progress has been made in partnership with Indigenous and northern communities. The co-development—and now co-implementation—of the Framework is providing a bold opportunity to do things differently in the North and Arctic and to innovate on the way different orders of government and partner organizations collaborate. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to aligning Canada’s policies with the priorities of Northerners and working in partnership for a vibrant, prosperous and sustainable Arctic and northern region where people are striving, strong and safe. I look forward to continue building on what we have achieved together so far.”
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs
The Government of Canada launched Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework in September 2019. For the first time, the federal government worked collaboratively with Indigenous partners and six territorial and provincial governments to define and co-develop this long-term vision for the Arctic and the North. The Framework reflects the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people and is grounded in inclusive engagement across the region.
The Framework guides the Government of Canada’s priorities, activities and investments in the Arctic to 2030 and beyond, and better aligns Canada’s national and international policy objectives with the priorities of Northerners.
The Framework includes a co-developed policy statement and an International chapter; a federally developed Safety, Security and Defence chapter; an Inuit-drafted Inuit Nunangat chapter; chapters drafted by the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Government of Nunavut; and a Pan-Territorial chapter. Other partner chapters are anticipated to be included once released.
Budget 2019 made an initial investment of over $700 million to support the Framework and complement existing efforts to strengthen Arctic and northern communities, including new funding to support options for post-secondary education in the North, enhance infrastructure resources to connect northern and remote communities and support clean energy production, increase economic development programming, enable critical Arctic research, and enhance Canada’s global Arctic leadership.
Budget 2021 proposed a number of additional initiatives to benefit people and communities in Canada’s North and Arctic regions who face unique challenges presented by geography, climate change, food security, infrastructure and remoteness. This includes:
- $163.4 million to expand the Nutrition North Canada Program;
- $40.4 million to support the feasibility and planning of hydroelectricity and grid interconnection projects in the North;
- $25 million to support the Government of Yukon’s climate change priorities;
- $50 million towards the Government of the Northwest Territories and Government of Nunavut’s housing and infrastructure needs;
- $8 million to enable the transformation of Aurora College to a polytechnic university; and,
- $21.6 million to support the implementation of the Blue Economy Strategy in the Eastern and Western Arctic.
The collaborative process used to co-develop the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework also helped inform Canada’s Arctic and Northern COVID-19 pandemic response measures.
As in the rest of Canada, many individuals and businesses in the North continue to struggle with the public health risks and economic impacts of COVID-19. Since April 2020, the Government of Canada has made targeted investments of over $850 million in Arctic and Northern communities to support territorial response efforts, as well as individuals and businesses.
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs
Crown–Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
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