ontario news watch

Federal budget ignores Indigenous infrastructure needs: Assembly of First Nations

OTTAWA — The national chief of the Assembly of First Nations says the latest federal budget all but ignores the needs of the communities she represents.

Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak says Ottawa is neglecting a long-standing promise to close the First Nations infrastructure gap by 2030.

And she wants Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland to explain themselves in person when the AFN meets in Montreal in July. 

A recent Assembly of First Nations report found that $349 billion is needed to close that gap — a price tag that is only expected to grow.

But the federal budget only allocated a total of $918 million to upgrade First Nations, Métis and Inuit infrastructure across Canada. 

Woodhouse Nepinak says she’s also meeting with opposition parties to lay out the assembly’s top priorities in advance of the next federal election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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