Canada sets up $75M fund to support air access to remote communities
The Government of Canada is introducing measures to support essential air access to remote communities, including the establishment of a $75-million funding program for a six-month period. Another $174 million could be invested over 18 months, which the government states will depend on the pace of recovery of air travel into remote communities.
“[We must] ensure remote communities continue to have the air connectivity they need for essential goods and services, travel and business,” said Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport. “Our work with the provinces and territories on these measures will allow for reliable air services to keep remote communities connected to the rest of the country.”
The Government of Canada states it is working with provincial and territorial governments that will contribute to the funding. It has also engaged indigenous partners and the aviation industry to address the needs of these communities, which depend on small air carriers for essential goods, services, and access in and out of the community.
Under these agreements, the provinces and territories would determine minimum essential services to remote communities and administer a program with air operators to deliver the required level of essential services. A fixed funding amount will be allocated to each jurisdiction that has remote communities based on historical passenger volumes.
“This support is positive news for all northerners and is a result of continued collaboration and partnership,” said Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs. “This will ensure supply chains remain open to those living in isolated Nutrition North Canada eligible communities, who depend on air transportation for the regular delivery of perishable nutritious foods, personal hygiene products and other essential items.”
The Government of Canada determined there are 140 communities with airports that are considered remote in designing this program.