New funding supports essential air carriers in remote First Nation communities

·1 min read

The provincial and federal governments have announced new funding today to support essential air carriers that serve remote First Nation communities in Northern Ontario.

The funding will ensure communities have access to essential supplies, services and goods.

Canada will be investing $11.1 million, while the province has earmarked $14.2 million to operate remote airports in 2020-21, including an additional $4 million this year to ensure safe operations during the pandemic.

Today’s announcement includes Fort Albany First Nation, Kashechewan First Nation, Peawanuck and Attawapiskat First Nation.

Across Canada, there are 140 communities with airports that were considered remote when the federal government announced the funding program last August.

Out of 34 remote communities in Northern Ontario, 28 don’t have all-year-round access and rely on air carriers for essential services and goods.

“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," Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra said in a statement.

"This agreement with the Government of Ontario will allow for reliable air services to keep remote communities in Ontario connected to the rest of the country."

The Ministry of Transportation owns and operates 29 airports, 27 of which support remote First Nation communities, according to the press release.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, TimminsToday.com