Indigenous groups hope for infrastructure dollars and economic development in budget

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Funding for infrastructure and economic development are two of the main asks some prominent Indigenous organizations have put to the Liberal government ahead of its upcoming budget.

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has promised that the spending plan to be made public Tuesday will demonstrate fiscal restraint.

It is also expected to include money to advance Canada's green energy transition and measures to keep it competitive with the United States, which is aggressively funding clean technology with its Inflation Reduction Act.

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Natan Obed says that despite the government's talk of restraint, it will still be spending billions — and he hopes that includes a 35-year, $75-billion commitment for infrastructure in Inuit communities.

Métis National Council President Cassidy Caron says in a statement she hopes to see funding for the organization to create an economic development fund specifically targeted to help Métis businesses.

The federal government had also signalled in its fall economic statement that it planned to develop a new framework to "ensure" that First Nations and other Indigenous communities "can directly benefit from major resource projects" developed on their lands, with more details to be provided this year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first publishedMarch 27, 2023.

The Canadian Press