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

News release

March 17, 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, and the Saskatchewan Minister of Highways, the Honourable Fred Bradshaw, announced a new agreement with the Government of Saskatchewan to support essential air access to remote communities.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $1,592,000 for air services to remote communities. Under this agreement, the Government of Saskatchewan will allocate funding to air operators to ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies, and other essential goods and services to these communities.

In 2019-2020, the Government of Saskatchewan provided $915,000 to operate remote airports in Stony Rapids, Fond-du-Lac, Uranium City, Wollaston Lake and Camsell Portage.

Quotes

“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 Saskatchewan will allow for reliable air services to keep remote communities in Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan. This investment will ensure communities in Saskatchewan 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

“Saskatchewan’s North has its own unique needs and circumstances. Reliable air travel is necessary to ensure that we support our remote communities. We are happy to make this investment and thankful to the Government of Canada for their support.”

The Honourable Fred Bradshaw
Minister of Highways
Government of Saskatchewan

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.

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

  • There are five communities with airports or aerodromes in Saskatchewan which are considered remote: Stony Rapids, Fond-du-Lac, Uranium City, Wollaston Lake and Camsell Portage.

Associated links

Contacts

Allison St-Jean
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa
Allison.St-Jean@tc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa
613-993-0055
media@tc.gc.ca

Patrick Book
Senior Communications Consultant
Government of Saskatchewan
639-590-5641
patrick.book@gov.sk.ca

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