Government of Canada announces agreement with Government of Manitoba to support essential air access to remote communities 

News release

February 1, 2021           Ottawa              Transport Canada

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on remote communities that depend on small air carriers for essential goods, services, and for access in and out of the community. As the pandemic continues to evolve, the Government of Canada is working with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous partners, and the air industry to address the unique needs of these communities.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, the Minister of Northern Affairs, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, and the Manitoba Minister of Economic Development and Jobs, the Honourable Ralph Eichler, announced a new agreement with the Government of Manitoba to support essential air access to remote communities.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $12,031,000 for air services to remote communities to cover the period of July 1 to December 31, 2020. Under this agreement, the Government of Manitoba will allocate funding to air operators to ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods and services to these communities.


“While we continue to work together to limit the spread of COVID-19, we must also ensure remote communities continue to have the air connectivity they need for essential goods and services, travel and business. This agreement with the Government of Manitoba will allow for reliable air services to keep remote communities in Manitoba connected to the rest of the country.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“COVID-19 continues to put pressure on the transportation sector in the North and Arctic, and the people who live there. Our government recognizes it is crucial to support critical transportation links in order to continue to maintain and strengthen supply chains throughout Manitoba. This investment will ensure communities in Manitoba remain connected and supported with access to essential goods and health services when they need it the most.”

The Honourable Daniel Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

“Protecting Manitobans is critical and remote communities need to continue to receive goods and services that they rely on. This program will ensure communities which depend on scheduled air service for the supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential items will get the support they need.”

The Honourable Ralph Eichler
Minister of Economic Development and Jobs
Government of Manitoba

Quick facts

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

  • Remote communities are those which rely on air service as the only year-round mode of transportation. 

  • There are 19 communities with airports or aerodromes in Manitoba which are considered remote. 

  • Some communities may have limited access to seasonal ice roads or long and unreliable gravel roads. 

  • In addition to this initiative, Indigenous Services Canada has been flying health care professionals to and from fly-in First Nations communities in Manitoba since April 22, 2020.   

Associated links


Allison St-Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

John Neufeld
Public Affairs Specialist
Government of Manitoba

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