Federal Budget 2021-22: A Step in the Right Direction

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WENDAKE, QC, April 19, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador (AFNQL) is reacting to the tabling of the federal budget. The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Canada, unveiled today the 2021-22 federal budget called "A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience".

This five-year budget invests more than $18 billion overall to further close the existing gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in areas such as the fight against COVID-19, education services, health and social services, security, culture and economic recovery.

Substantial investments of $6 billion are also planned for infrastructure in Indigenous communities. The funding could be linked to various projects of this nature, for example, drinking water supply or housing projects. "Housing is a major priority for the First Nations Chiefs in Quebec. Any announcement of additional funds to help our communities build more housing is obviously welcomed when we know that 10,000 new units are needed to meet the needs," said Ghislain Picard, Chief of the AFNQL.

Although significant, these investments are still insufficient. "Our figures clearly show that regular budgets are far from meeting the housing needs of First Nations. The new funding announced is timely as the last federal housing initiative ended on March 31st. Of course, it will not meet all the needs, but it will help us do more, especially since our communities are also faced with skyrocketing construction costs," said Chief Lance Haymond.

"When we work to improve living conditions by investing in housing, we contribute, at the same time, to solving important issues on other levels, such as health, education and economic development. For example, increasing the housing stock will certainly contribute to making our communities less vulnerable in this period of pandemic," concluded AFNQL Chief Ghislain Picard.

About the AFNQL
The Assembly of First Nations Quebec-Labrador is the political organization that brings together 43 First Nations Chiefs in Quebec and Labrador.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador


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