AMC welcomes federal investments for essential air travel in northern Manitoba
February 1, 2021
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba
Treaty One Territory, Manitoba – The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) issues this statement in response to today’s agreement between the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada on funding to support safe and essential air travel to First Nations and remote communities in Northern Manitoba. The federal government will be working with the province to provide up to $12.03 million to the air industry and to airlines that service First Nations and remote communities in Manitoba.
“On behalf the Assembly and the impacted First Nations, I want to recognize Ministers Clarke and Eichler of the Manitoba government for their efforts in securing much needed support for the airlines and the air travel industry that service First Nations in the North and on the east side of lake Winnipeg, including the Island Lake First Nations,” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas. “It is critical that the air carriers continue to provide safe and reliable transport to First Nations citizens during the pandemic, which continues to adversely and disproportionality affect First Nations in the north and all across the province.”
“I want to also acknowledge the new federal Transport Minister, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with Indigenous Services Canada, for helping to ensure the safety of vulnerable First Nations in Manitoba during this critical time. For our remote and isolated First Nations, the airlines provide a lifeline to the outside world, ensuring that goods and services are transported in and out of communities, while providing critical medical evacuations as required. These services and supports are especially critical at this time as First Nations in Manitoba face an unprecedented threat to their individual and collective well-being during this second wave of COVID-19.”
“It is also important that the airlines that service First Nations use the funding to improve safety measures and remain accountable to First Nations beyond the pandemic and going forward. This funding is an example of what can be accomplished with cooperation and when bilateral and tripartite agreements can be put in place. I look forward to ongoing engagement with the Province and with Transport Canada on how air and transportation infrastructure can be further improved in Northern Manitoba as we recover from the pandemic,” concluded Grand Chief Dumas.