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Budget 2023 stops short of meaningful steps to advance reconciliation with Inuit

By March 29, 2023 No Comments

March 29, 2023 – Ottawa, Ontario

The 2023 federal budget released March 28 offers a portion of the funding needed to eliminate tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat and takes few additional measures to bring about substantive equality between Inuit and Canadians.

Budget 2023 pledges $16.2 million over three years for “interventions to reduce rates of tuberculosis in Inuit communities.” This funding amounts to roughly a quarter of the amount Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami identified for the next phase of tuberculosis elimination in its pre-budget submission last fall.

“This modest investment in Inuit health priorities does not fulfill our joint commitment with the Government of Canada to eliminate tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat by 2030,” said Natan Obed, President of ITK. “But we remain optimistic that future federal budget cycles will unlock the funding needed to honour this commitment.”

ITK’s board of directors set out five strategic priorities for Budget 2023. Along with TB elimination, they include detailed plans to deliver and maintain an Inuit Nunangat School Food Program, a costing model for the reclamation, revitalization, maintenance and strengthening of Inuktut, implementation of Phase 2 of the National Inuit Strategy on Research and investment in a portfolio of Inuit Nunangat infrastructure projects that form the core of a comprehensive assessment of what is needed to close the infrastructure gap in Inuit Nunangat by 2030.

ITK will continue to advocate for distinctions-based federal funding to bring fiscal clarity and stability to the complex planning process across the four unique regions of Inuit Nunangat.

The Inuit Crown Partnership Committee is the primary mechanism through which Inuit and the federal government collaborate on issues of shared priority to focus federal investments and support Inuit self-determination. ITK looks forward to learning more about this budget and working closely with the Prime Minister and Senior Ministers in the leadup to the next meeting of ICPC Leaders in Nain, Nunatsiavut, in May 2023.

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