Initial summary & considerations
Economic Action Plan 2012 commits the Government to introduce legislation and explore new funding mechanisms for First Nations elementary and secondary education and invests 275M over three years to support First Nation education Working together can produce results. And this is the momentum we need to see across the board in all of the areas of the Crown First Nation Gathering. “The Government will also work to explore mechanisms to ensure stable, predictable, and sustainable funding”.
The budget further notes: “The recent Crown-First Nations Gathering underscored the Government’s commitment to work with First Nations on shared priorities. Economic Action Plan 2012 supports this commitment by introducing initiatives to enhance economic potential on First Nations lands, improve water quality in First Nations communities, and address family violence on reserves.”
Highlights of investments include:
• $275 million over three years to support First Nation education, which includes $100 million for early literacy and $175 million to build and renovate schools
• $33.5 million for this fiscal year supporting First Nations commercial fishing
• $27 million over two years renewal of Urban Aboriginal Strategy
• $331 million over two years First Nations water infrastructure which is a continuation of ongoing levels
• $12 million for this fiscal year for family violence on-reserve
• $88 million over two years to Provinces and Territories to address flooding
Other areas without specific investments
• Committing to work with willing partners toward passage of legislation that will establish the structures and standards to support strong and accountable education systems on reserve.
• Commitment to improve the incentives in the on-reserve Income Assistance Program while encouraging those who can work to access training so they are better equipped for employment
• Commitment to work with First Nations on shared priorities and enhance economic potential on First Nations lands.
• The Government will continue to work with First Nations to address barriers to economic development on reserve.
• Will explore with interested First Nations the option of moving forward with legislation that would allow private property ownership within current reserve boundaries.
Better aligning its on-reserve Income Assistance Program with provincial systems through improved compliance with program requirements.
Commits to working with Aboriginal communities and organizations, provinces and territories to improve the mental health and well-being of Aboriginal peoples in Canada.
•Regulatory, Review and Development Processes with Potential Impacts on First Nations The following commitments have implications for on First Nations and additional assessment will be required:
$13.6 million over two years to support consultations with Aboriginal peoples to ensure that their rights and interests are respected.
•$54 million over two years to renew the Major Projects Management Office initiative to support effective project approvals.
•$1 million over two years to expand Metal Mining Effluent Regulations to non-metal diamond and coal mines.
•$13.5 million over two years to strengthen pipeline safety.
•$47 million over two years to the Northern Pipeline Agency to support federal regulatory responsibilities related to the Alaska Pipeline Project.
•$12.3 million over two years to continue to assess diamonds in the North.
•Planned Reductions in Departmental Spending
• There are numerous planned reductions to departmental spending across government, and it will take time to assess their short-term and ongoing impacts.
Planned reductions to the department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Portfolio are found below:
•Funding for the First Nations Statistical Institute has been eliminated past this fiscal year. Also, the broadband initiative in rural communities will not continue.