Coastal First Nations responds to Liberal Government’s 2016 budget


(Vancouver, March 24, 2016) – Coastal First Nations (CFN) is encouraged by the Liberal Government’s 2016 budget tabled in the House of Commons.

CFN Chairperson Kelly Russ said the budget addresses some of concerns that our communities face. “The devil is always in the details but we are hopeful the budget signals the honouring of the nation-to-nation relationship the Liberal government has promised First Nations.”

We are encouraged by the commitment to fund $5.0 billion over the next five years in infrastructure that protects communities and supports Canada’s ongoing transition to a clean growth economy, including CFN communities, he said. “This fits in well with our work to develop a sustainable coastal economy.”

Russ said we also welcome the monies set aside for harbours in small communities. “We must have safe and accessible harbours that are good working condition and meet the needs of our communities.”

The investment of $2.4 billion for delivery of clean water, wastewater infrastructure and waste management on reserves will improve the quality of life in our communities, he said. “This will ensure a healthy environment for our member communities.”

The proposed $16.5 million over 3 years for enhanced consultation with First Nations by the National Energy Board and Transport Canada, and $14.2 million over four years by the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, signals the beginning of a new consultation approach. “But again, only time will tell if there is real change on the ground.”

CFN looks forward to see how the Federal Government intends to expend the $33.1 million on the Atlantic and Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiatives.  “This fund is an important component in rebuilding a prosperous fishing industry on the coast.”

The proposed $81.2 million expenditure on the development of marine conservation activities, including the designation of New Protected Areas under the Oceans Act is also welcome news for CFN. “We have spent years working on marine use planning and this will help us achieve our goals for a healthy marine environment.”




For more information:

Kelly Russ – 604-696-9889 (work) 604-828-4621 (cell)

Chair, Coastal First Nations