New measures to support essential air access to remote communities

Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is collaboratively working with provinces and territories and Indigenous partners to ensure minimum levels of essential transportation services to remote communities, to avoid the disruptions that a sudden loss in these services would cause.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis in the aviation industry’s ability to service communities, which is having a significant impact on the remote communities that depend on small air carriers for essential goods, services, and access in and out of the community.

The Government of Canada will:

  • Seek bilateral agreements with provinces and territories to ensure continuity of service for at least six months.
  • Establish a $75-million funding program for the federal contribution for the first six months and maintain these essential services through an investment of up to $174 million dollars over 18 months, if needed.

Additional funding will depend on the needs of the communities and the pace of recovery of air travel into remote communities.

Funding and operations

This funding, in partnership with contributions by the provincial and territorial governments, will ensure the minimum level of essential transportation services to remote communities, and the continued supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods and services to remote communities, in particular for communities who depend on regular delivery of perishable foods and personal hygiene products.

A fixed funding amount would be allocated by province/territory based on the historical passenger volumes into remote communities. The six-month bilateral agreements with the provinces and territories may be renewable at adjusted rates depending on the need and the pace of recovery of air travel into remote communities.

Remote communities

There are 140 communities with airports that were considered remote while designing this program. More than one remote community may be served by an airport.

Communities are assessed as remote when air travel is used for essential needs (e.g., medical visits and personnel, food, first responders, or laboratory samples), as other travel alternatives are non-existent, impossible, or impractical.

These remote communities are isolated and the vast majority are only accessible by air for most of the year. Some communities may have limited access to seasonal ice roads or long and unreliable gravel roads, ferries or remote railway.

The small air carriers that service these remote communities have seen a sharp decline (in excess of 90 per cent) in the number of passengers as a result of COVID-19. Adequate revenue from passengers is essential to cover the costs of operating a flight and effectively pays for delivery of essential cargo (food, medical supplies, spare parts for electricity, water systems) on the same plane. The federal contribution was developed taking into account air carriers holding a Canadian Transportation Agency license and providing scheduled service to at least one of the remote communities.

Yukon

Dawson
Mayo
Old Crow

Northwest Territories

Aklavik
Colville Lake
Deline
Fort Good Hope
Fort McPherson
Fort Simpson
Fort Smith
Gamèti
Hay River
Inuvik
Lutselk'e
Nahanni Butte
Norman Wells
Paulatuk
Sachs Harbour
Sambaa K'e
Tuktoyaktuk
Tulita
Ulukhaktok
Wekweeti
Whatì
Wrigley

Newfoundland and Labrador

Black Tickle
Hopedale
Makkovik
Nain
Natuashish
Postville
Rigolet
Williams Harbour

Quebec

Akulivik
Aupaluk
Chevery
Chisasibi
Eastmain River
Iles-de-la-Madeleine
Inukjuak
Ivujivik
Kangiqsualujjuaq
Kangiqsujuaq
Kangirsuk
Kuujjuaq
Kuujjuarapik
La Romaine
La Tabatière
Port-Menier
Puvirnituq
Quaqtaq
Saint-Augustin
Salluit
Schefferville
Tasiujaq
Tête-à-La-Baleine
Umiujaq
Waskaganish
Wemindji

Manitoba

Berens River
Brochet
Churchill
Cross Lake
Elk Island
God’s Lake Narrows
God’s River
Island Lake
Lac Brochet
Little Grand Rapids
Norway House
Poplar River First Nation
Oxford House
Red Sucker Lake
Shamattawa
South Indian Lake
St. Theresa Point
Tadoule Lake
York Factory First Nation

Nunavut

Arctic Bay
Arviat
Baker Lake
Cambridge Bay
Cape Dorset
Chesterfield Inlet
Clyde River
Coral Harbour
Gjoa Haven
Grise Fiord
Hall Beach
Igloolik
Iqaluit
Kimmirut
Kugaaruk
Kugluktuk
Naujaat
Pangnirtung
Pond Inlet
Qikiqtarjuaq
Rankin Inlet
Resolute
Sanikiluaq
Taloyoak
Whale Cove

Ontario

Attawapiskat First Nation
Bearskin Lake First Nation
Cat Lake First Nation
Deer Lake First Nation
Eabametoong First Nation
Fort Albany First Nation
Fort Severn First Nation
Kasabonika Lake First Nation
Kashechewan First Nation
Keewaywin First Nation
Kingfisher First Nation
Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation
Marten Falls First Nation
Muskrat Dam Lake First Nation
Neskantaga First Nation
Nibinamik First Nation (Summer Beaver)
North Caribou Lake First Nation (Round Lake)
North Spirit Lake First Nation
Peawanuck
Pikangikum First Nation
Poplar Hill First Nation
Sachigo Lake First Nation
Sandy Lake First Nation
Wapekeka First Nation
Webequie First Nation
Wunnumin Lake First Nation

Saskatchewan

Camsell Portage
Fond-du-Lac
Uranium City
Wollaston Lake

Alberta

Chipewyan Lake
Fort Chipewyan
Fox Lake

British Columbia

Bella Bella
Fort Ware
Sandspit
Tsay Keh

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