Sat, 02 Jul 2022

April 5, 2022 -Ottawa, Ontario-Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Every Canadian deserves access to healthy, affordable food, no matter where they live. Many communities in the North and Arctic become inaccessible by road or water during seasonal freezing and ice-breakup, leading to increased costs to ship food and other essential items. 

Today, the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, and Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories, announced that the community of Fort Simpson in the Northwest Territories is now seasonally eligible for the Nutrition North retail subsidy. 

Nutrition North Canada is a federal program that provides a retail subsidy on perishable foods and other essential items to residents in 122 isolated and northern communities. The program works in collaboration with provincial, territorial, Indigenous and program partners to address food insecurity and ensure access to essential items in northern and remote communities.

The inclusion of Fort Simpson supports efforts to strengthen food security, as residents will have better access to affordable foods and essential items during isolation periods. The community currently experiences periods of isolation during the spring thaws and fall freeze up seasons, where food has to be flown to the community at a high cost. Residents will now be able to purchase subsidized food from registered northern retailers in the community during these periods. 

In response to the pandemic, the government moved urgently to provide an additional $25 million to Nutrition North Canada, to increase subsidy rates on nutritious foods and essential items. The program also expanded the list of nutritious food and essential items subsidized to include cleaning supplies. In addition, Budget 2021 is investing $163.4 million over three years to expand the Nutrition North Canada program and enable the Minister of Northern Affairs to work directly with Indigenous partners to address food insecurity.

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