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Federal government commits additional funding for essential flights to remote communities

The Government of Canada is allotting $75 million over six months toward essential air services for 140 remote communities across Canada, including the North.

Ottawa is prepared to invest up to $174 million over 18 months, if necessary, to ensure these flights are maintained, a federal government news release stated on Thursday.

The federal government is also seeking bilateral agreements with the territories to ensure “continuity of service” for at least a six-month period.

The Government of Canada news release explained that fixed funding amounts will be based on historical passenger volumes per jurisdiction.

“From day one of this pandemic, our government has been working with partners to respond to the unique needs of Northern and remote communities,” Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal stated. “This support is positive news for all Northerners and is a result of continued collaboration and partnership. This will ensure supply chains remain open to those living in isolated Nutrition North Canada eligible communities, who depend on air transportation for the regular delivery of perishable nutritious foods, personal hygiene products and other essential items.”