Reliable Infrastructure


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

Reliable Infrastructure

Current Challenges

  • First Nations infrastructure deficit estimated as high as $30 billion, including:
    • Housing
    • Water and Wastewater
    • Health Facilities
    • Roads
    • Education Facilities
    • Energy Systems
    • Broadband
  • Both major repairs and new builds required to address these gaps in every area
  • As of January 23, 2018, 91 long-term drinking water advisories in effect on public systems on reserve. Other drinking water advisories are at risk of becoming long-term.

The Path Forward

  • Predictable, long-term funding
  • Co-developed distinctions-based housing strategies for First Nations, Métis Nation, & Inuit
  • All long-term drinking water advisories lifted for public systems on reserve by March 2021
  • Communities supported by Indigenous institutions in financing, procurement, and maintenance of public infrastructure

Points of Progress since November 2015

  • Budget 2016 announced significant investments for housing. Between the Department of Indigenous Services Canada (DISC) and Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), as of September 30, 2017, a total of 9,704 housing units have been built, renovated, retrofitted, serviced, or work is underway.
  • Since November 2015, 40 long-term drinking water advisories have been lifted on public water systems on reserve.
  • 349 water and wastewater projects underway, serving approximately 270,000 people in 275 First Nation communities.

Facts & Figures

  • Budget 2016 invested $554.3 million over two years toward urgent housing needs on reserve:
    • $416.6 million to DISC; and
    • $137.7 million to CMHC.
  • Budget 2016 committed $1.8 billion over five years to improve water and wastewater infrastructure on reserve.
  • Budget 2017 invests an additional $4 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to build and improve community infrastructure.

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