A New Fiscal Relationship


On January 23, 2018, Minister Jane Philpott and the Department of Indigenous Services Canada held a media briefing to outline the new department’s priorities since being created in Fall 2017. The media brief as presented can be viewed online via Facebook, and background documents are available via Canada.ca.

A New Fiscal Relationship

Current Challenges

  • Government funding is often short-term, proposal and program-based, and prevents planning and flexibility to respond to local needs
  • Reporting burden; a former Auditor General has reported that communities can be required to file more than 100 reports annually to fulfill funding obligations
  • The Default Prevention and Management Policy is punitive and counterproductive.

The Path Forward

  • Predictable, long-term funding through fair transfers
  • New fiscal relationship based on mutual accountability
  • Different visions of and paths to self-determination respected
  • Indigenous-led programs and services supported by strong Indigenous institutions and governments
  • Flexibility in government responses to meet specific needs

Points of Progress since November 2015

  • Budgets 2016 and 2017 investments result in a 27% increase in Government of Canada spending on Indigenous programs by 2021-2022 ($8.4 billion and $3.4 billion respectively)
  • Changes to funding processes to provide more flexibility to First Nations in how they expend carry over funds were announced at the AFN Annual General Assembly in July 2017
  • The Government of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations have engaged with First Nation Chiefs and Administrators on a new, long-term fiscal relationship. Report was received by Federal Government in December 2017: A new approach: Co-development of a new fiscal relationship between Canada and First Nations
  • The federal government has announced that it will work with First Nation partners to move ahead on a number of proposals from this report including:
    • Funding flexibility, through the creation of 10-year grants, with goal of providing 10-year grants to up to 100 First Nations by April 1, 2019
    • Replacing the Default Prevention and Management Policy
    • Establishing a permanent advisory committee
  • The federal government is also working jointly with 25 self-governing indigenous governments  to develop a new self-government fiscal policy framework that will enable these governments to realize the full potential of their agreements

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