AMC frustrated with postponement of budget spending for northern and rural infrastructure
March 2, 2018
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 2, 2018
Treaty One Territory _ The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs is frustrated to learn that funding for northern and rural infrastructure has been postponed in the latest federal budget released this past Tuesday.
“As I said earlier this week, funding shouldn’t be staggered over fiscal years and this is a prime example of why,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.
In the 2017 budget, the funding was allocated to improve road access, expand internet connectivity and help remote communities reduce their reliance on diesel power.
“We still have four First Nations in northern Manitoba that rely on diesel power. Recently the station at Tadoule Lake ran out. This puts our First Nations citizens lives at risk, especially in the winter months,” said Dumas.
Sayisi Dene First Nation, Shamattawa First Nation, Barren Lands First Nation – Brochet andNorthlands Dene First Nation are part of what is called the “Diesel Zone.” It is reliant on diesel generated electricity supplied by Manitoba Hydro.
The winter road to Tadoule Lake still is not open and now the Province of Manitoba is predicting it could open sometime between today and March 5.
Although the 2018 budget put an additional $600 million over three years to support housing on- reserve, it took away $450 million over the next five years for northern and rural infrastructure.
“This is not helping our people. It’s a robbing Peter to pay Paul scenario,” said Dumas.