Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced additional funding targeted towards improving the health, economic, and social wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and communities who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. He also announced that he is extending the summer ban on cruise ships. $650 million in Funding for Indigenous Peoples and Communities The Prime Minister announced that the federal government is dedicating new funding to provide critical support to Indigenous families and communities during the pandemic. This funding has three components and includes the following:
$285.1 million to support the ongoing public health response to COVID-19 in Indigenous communities. The investment will fund community-led responses to the pandemic, and provide targeted increases in primary health care resources for First Nations communities
$270 million to supplement the On-Reserve Income Assistance Program, which will help individuals and families meet their essential living expenses.
$44.8 million over five years to build 12 new shelters, which will help protect and support Indigenous women and girls experiencing and fleeing violence. This will help build 10 shelters to support Indigenous women and children in First Nations communities and two in the territories. The government will also provide $40.8 million to support operational costs and an additional $1 million a year ongoing, to support engagement with Métis leaders and service providers on shelter provision and community-led violence prevention projects for Métis women, girls, and LGBTQ and two-spirit people.
Extending the cruise ship ban through the summer
The Prime Minister also announced that any cruise ship that carries more than 100 people will be prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until at least Oct. 31, pushing off the possibility of a summer cruise ship season. As of July 1, any cruise ships that have overnight capacity for fewer than 100 passengers or day cruise vessels will be subject to provincial, territorial, and municipal health authority rules as to whether or not they’ll be able to operate.
The PM ended his remarks on large cruise ships by noting that the decision “extends the one we made in March which was taken to protect our coastal communities. Covid-19 is still a serious threat. But with the right plan and the right investments – we will whether this storm together.”