Budget 2019 Invests in Canada's First University in the North 

News release

April 23, 2019 – Whitehorse, Yukon – Department of Finance Canada

Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance at success, no matter where they live.

That's why the Government is making significant and continued investments in people. When more Canadians are able to continue their education, practise new skills, or learn on the job, they are better prepared to find and keep good, well-paying jobs now, and in the future.

Today, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Joël Lightbound, is in Whitehorse to highlight how Budget 2019 is investing in the middle class. This includes helping more people in Canada's Arctic region get access to education and work opportunities, with the announcement of a $26 million investment over five years to build a new science building at Yukon College, helping it transition into Canada's first northern university.

Budget 2019 is also making education and skills training more available to Canadians living in the North, with proposals that would:

  • Improve post-secondary education in Canada's Arctic and northern regions with a new Task Force to provide recommendations on how to enhance and expand post-secondary education in the North.
  • Help Indigenous and northern students succeed by supporting culturally appropriate educational programs at the Northwest Territories' Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning.
  • Provide young people in the North with international learning opportunities by establishing a new international exchange and internship program, as well as creating an International Education Strategy for students to work or study abroad.
  • Lower the interest rates on Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans to make post-secondary education more affordable for all students.
  • Modernize the Canada Student Loans Program to address long-standing challenges for vulnerable student loan borrowers, such as students with permanent disabilities or students facing other major financial or life situations.
  • Improve access to mentorship, learning resources and start-up financing to help bring business ideas to life and to market through Futurpreneur Canada. 
  • Help workers gain new skills with the creation of the new Canada Training Benefit, a benefit that will give workers money to help pay for training, provide income support during training, and, with the cooperation of the provinces and territories, offer job protection so that workers can take the time they need to keep their skills relevant and in-demand.
  • Ensure all Canadian homes and businesses have access to high-speed internet no matter where they are located.

Tomorrow, Parliamentary Secretary Lightbound will also speak to the Yukon Chamber of Commerce to underscore the Government's commitment to support a competitive and growing business environment in the territories. 


"Universities are places for people to learn, connect with others, build relationships and continue on their path to good jobs and new opportunities. Yukon University will be exactly that kind of place for Yukoners and northern Canadians. Our Budget 2019 investment will help build a new science building, and is one of the many ways our Government is preparing people for jobs today and tomorrow, while also supporting innovation and talent in every part of the country."

- Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 supports Canada's North by proposing up to: 

  • $400 million over eight years in additional funding for the National Trade Corridors Fund to support Arctic and northern projects. 

  • $75 million over five years for enhanced economic development programming through Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth).

  • $15 million over five years for the Northern Isolated Community Initiatives Fund to support community-led local and Indigenous food production projects.

  • $50 million over 10 years, with $5 million per year ongoing, for the National Inuit Suicide Prevention Strategy.

  • $10 million over two years to enhance the Polar Continental Shelf Program, which provides logistical support to Canadian researchers in the North.

  • $49.9 million over 15 years ($2.2 billion on a cash basis) to create the Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program.

  • $7.9 million over five years for work to strengthen our sovereignty over the continental shelf in the Arctic.

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Media may contact:

Pierre-Olivier Herbert
Director of Media Relations
Office of the Minister of Finance

Media Relations
Department of Finance Canada

General Enquiries

Phone: 613-369-3710
Facsimile: 613-369-4065
TTY: 613-369-3230
E-mail: fin.financepublic-financepublique.fin@canada.ca

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