February 27, 2018, Ottawa, ON — ITK is pleased with the investments proposed in Budget 2018 for Inuit health, housing, and research. It is encouraging and constructive that this year’s budget utilizes an Inuit Nunangat fiscal policy based on direct federal allocations to Inuit.
The following Inuit-specific investments proposed in Budget 2018 are notable:
- $400 million over 10 years to support an Inuit-led housing plan in the Inuit regions of Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit. This is in addition to the $240 million over 10 years announced in Budget 2017 to support housing in Nunavut, where additional funding was provided for Inuit housing.
- $27.5 million over five years to eliminate tuberculosis in Inuit Nunangat, including through support of ITK’s Inuit-specific approach to tuberculosis elimination.
- $82 million over 10 years, with $6 million per year ongoing, for the co-creation of a permanent Inuit Health Survey. Funding will build capacity in Inuit communities to develop and collect survey information and support Inuit self-determination in setting the research agenda in their regions and communities.
In addition, this year’s budget proposes to invest $161.2 million over five years in the Inuit stream of the Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, which supports employment services, skills development and job training.
“The proposed investments in this year’s budget reflect the concerted work of Inuit regions, working bilaterally as well as through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee, to identify the fiscal needs in our communities as well as the preferred approach to addressing those needs,” said ITK President Natan Obed. “I am hopeful that the proposed allocations directly to Inuit, especially in the area of housing, become an established precedent for future budgets. This approach, which enhances the efficiency and impact of federal funding allocations, must also be adopted and implemented by provincial and territorial governments.”
ITK looks forward to beginning work on the next iteration of the Inuit Health Survey. Data gathered during the first Inuit Health Survey in 2007 and 2008 has aided Inuit regions in identifying regional challenges and corresponding solutions.
While Inuit recognize these Budget commitments are not adequate to close the gap between Inuit and other Canadians, we recognize this budget represents a step in the right direction. Specifically, ITK looks forward to working with Canada to address gaps in this budget, such as mental health services and supports, as well as measures to eliminate gender-based violence among Inuit.
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