Budget 2019 Invests in the Future of Canada's North

News release

April 24, 2019 – Whitehorse, Yukon – Department of Finance Canada

Canada has an opportunity—and a responsibility—to be a world leader in sustainably developing and investing in the North, and in the hard-working and ambitious people who call the North home. When businesses in the Arctic region succeed, more people can find good, well-paying jobs where they live, in communities they know and love.

Today, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, Joël Lightbound, joined the Member of Parliament for Yukon Larry Bagnell to speak to members of the Yukon Chamber of Commerce about how Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, will help ensure that Arctic and northern communities continue to grow and prosper.

Parliamentary Secretary Lightbound also spoke with entrepreneurs and business leaders in northern Canada's growing tech sector, meeting at TechYukon to discuss the ways Budget 2019 furthers the Government's commitment to science, technology and skills.

With Budget 2019, the Government is supporting northern businesses and communities by:

  • Ensuring every home and business in the North has access to high-speed internet, so that northerners can study, stay connected to friends and family, and take part in the digital economy.
  • Building or expanding northern infrastructure projects through a doubling of the federal municipal infrastructure commitment in 2018-19, which will help northern and First Nations communities pay for crucial repairs and other important local projects. This includes $16.5 million each for Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
  • Better connecting northern communities, businesses and exporters with new dedicated funding for transportation infrastructure in the National Trade Corridors Fund.
  • Making education and training more accessible in the North by helping Yukon College transition to become Canada's first northern university, as well as lowering the interest rates on Canada Student Loans and creating new opportunities for northern students to learn abroad.
  • Expanding post-secondary education options by establishing a Task Force to make recommendations on reinforcing the post-secondary education system in Canada's North.
  • Helping 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.
  • Supporting Indigenous entrepreneurs and Indigenous economic development, with help for First Nations and Inuit communities to build business plans, expand existing Indigenous-led businesses and launch new Indigenous-led start-ups.

Although only a small number of people call the Arctic home, all Canadians can be proud of our identity as a northern country. Through Budget 2019, the Government is helping to build strong northern and Arctic communities, to the benefit of all Canadians.


"In Budget 2019, we looked at all the ways we could make sure Canada's economic growth is benefitting everyone who contributes to that growth—no matter where they live. That includes making smart and significant investments in areas that will help keep northern businesses and communities on the path to growth for years to come, with more opportunities to get a good education; find and keep good, well-paying jobs; and build strong and resilient communities."

- Joël Lightbound, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Quick facts

  • Building on the Government's ongoing support for Canada's North, Budget 2019 announces more than $700 million over 10 years in new and focused funding to bring broad benefits to Arctic and northern communities.

  • In Yukon, Canada will invest up to $26 million over five years, starting in 2019–20, to construct a new campus science building to help Yukon College undertake its transformation into a hybrid university. 

  • To help every Canadian access high-speed internet, Budget 2019 is proposing a new, coordinated plan that would deliver $5 billion to $6 billion in new investments in rural broadband over the next 10 years.

  • In the 2018 Fall Economic Statement, the Government announced the extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit, which helps junior exploration companies raise capital to finance early-stage mineral exploration, including in the North, for an additional five years, until March 31, 2024.

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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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