Canada: Strategic investments continue to create jobs, stimulate economy

OTTAWA, ON, Canada, Dec. 7, 2009 -- Canada officials announced the significant progress demonstrated through Canada's Economic Action Plan and the benefits to Aboriginal communities from coast to coast to coast through job creation...

OTTAWA, ON, Canada, Dec. 7, 2009 -- The Honorable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for M├ętis and Non-Status Indians and Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, today announced the significant progress demonstrated through Canada's Economic Action Plan and the benefits to Aboriginal communities from coast to coast to coast through job creation.

"The Government of Canada continues to follow through on its commitment to make strategic investments across the country," said the Honorable Chuck Strahl. "Through projects such as these, new jobs are created and maintained, in turn boosting Canada's economy."

Canada's Economic Action Plan provides $200 million over the next two years to support the construction of 12 new schools and major school renovation projects in First Nation communities. To date, school infrastructure projects are progressing as planned with nine projects having gone to tender and seven tenders having been awarded.

For example, the Birch Narrows First Nation, located approximately 490 km northwest of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, received approximately $21 million under Canada's Economic Action Plan. This enables the First Nation to build a new kindergarten to grade 12 facility in partnership with the Government of Saskatchewan.

Over the next two years $165 million is also allocated to support the on-reserve construction of 18 water and wastewater projects. Of the 15 water and wastewater projects scheduled to begin construction this fiscal year, eleven have gone to tender and ten tenders have been awarded.

The Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation is receiving over $7 million to facilitate upgrades to their wastewater collection system. This project enables the community to improve its wastewater disposal, while creating over 1,600 hours of employment for locals since October 2009.

A new sewage lagoon in Pinaymootang, Manitoba, made possible through an investment of $6.9 million will service the majority of the First Nation community -- approximately 240 homes, as well as the on-reserve school facilities. Not only has this infrastructure project created jobs but it will help to ensure the sustainability and health of 1,250 people over the long term as the lagoon can be easily expanded for additional growth.

"Our Government is making important investments that will directly benefit Northerners -- today and in the future," said the Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister Responsible for the North and Minister of Health. "These substantial and diverse initiatives across the North are ensuring that jobs are created and Northerners participate fully in the region's growing economic opportunities.

"Canada's Economic Action Plan provided $1.2 million to the Government of the Northwest Territories Department of Environment and Natural Resources to support forest fire management activities. Fourteen NWT communities will engage in forest fuel reduction projects, including brush-cutting and tree removal. Through this project, approximately 100 people will be employed through March 2010 and will build local skills and experience.

Tourism is an important economic driver in every Yukon community. Canada's Economic Action Plan has provided $525,000 to Destination Yukon, a marketing and public relations campaign to attract more Canadian travelers to the Yukon from high potential areas. Destination Yukon has an estimate of 64 jobs across Canada of which about 2/3 would be in Yukon. The strategic investment in enhanced tourism marketing in 2009/2010 will stimulate an increase in air travel to Yukon while providing long term benefits and protect Yukon jobs in the airline and Yukon's tourism industry.

Canada's Economic Action Plan also provided approximately $620,000 to the Government of Nunavut for projects aimed at strengthening and diversifying the Cumberland Sound inshore fishing industry. An additional $60,000 will bolster the ongoing multi-species stock assessment taking place in the waters of the Hudson Strait. These projects will support knowledge and capacity building in Nunavut's fishing industry, ensuring that the sector continues to grow in a sustainable manner.

These projects in Nunavut have also provided employment for 22 people for an estimated 100 person-weeks, as well as 18 person-weeks of employment at a Nunavut fish plant for processing. Twelve people also received training under the Small Vessel Operators Program.

The Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada produces quarterly progress reports outlining progress across a number of federal departments on Aboriginal initiatives under Canada's Economic Action Plan.


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