OTTAWA, ON , Aug. 11, 2021 /CNW/ - The global COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Northern and remote communities which depend on supply chains for the delivery of essential goods and services. As the pandemic evolves, the Government of Canada continues to work with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities 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 Nunavut's Minister of Economic Development and Transportation, the Honourable David Akeeagok, announced that the Government of Canada is providing an additional $7.76 million to the Government of Nunavut to continue the support of essential air services for remote communities in Nunavut.
The funding announced today is in addition to the $17.1 million provided to the Government of Nunavut in 2020, to maintain essential air services to remote communities.
This financial contribution will help maintain minimum levels of air transportation services to remote communities in Nunavut to ensure continued access to essential goods and services, including community resupply of food and medical supplies.
The Governments of Canada and Nunavut will continue to collaborate to ensure essential transportation and supply chains for Northern and remote communities are protected for the health, safety and well-being of all Canadians.
"Our government understands the importance of reliable air services in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our Northern and remote communities. This investment will ensure that, as we work towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, people living and working in remote Nunavut communities will continue to have access to air services for delivery of essential goods and services and for essential travel between communities in Nunavut. We are pleased to be working with our territorial and Indigenous partners and the air industry to support communities as we start to build back better."
The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport
"Our government recognizes the vital importance of transportation links in maintaining and strengthening supply chains across the North. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put pressure on the transportation sector in the North and Arctic, this investment will ensure communities in Nunavut 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
"The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how essential air travel is for Nunavut. Thanks to this partnership, our communities have been able to rely on regular air transport for basic goods, supplies, and passenger travel between communities, despite the many challenges the pandemic has brought. While travel restrictions remain in place, we will continue to work with the Government of Canada and the airlines serving our territory to ensure the sustainability of the airline sector."
The Honourable David Akeeagok
Minister of Economic Development and Transportation
Government of Government of Nunavut
Under the funding agreements for the Remote Air Services Program, a fixed amount of funding is allocated to each province or territory that has remote communities. Provinces and territories are responsible for allocating the funding to specific air carriers.
Remote communities are those that rely on air service as the only practical year-round mode of transportation.
There are 25 communities with airports in Nunavut that were considered remote while designing this program.
Some communities may have limited access to seasonal ice roads or long and unreliable gravel roads.
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SOURCE Transport Canada
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