Our government is aware that skills and employment training programs are essential, that is why Budget 2018 proposes an investment of $2 billion over five years and $408.2 million ongoing to support the creation of a new Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program, which will replace the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy.
This budget also proposes a $1.5 billion investment over five years, starting in 2018-19, and $149 million per year ongoing, into Indigenous Health. This includes nursing services in isolated First Nations communities, supporting access to necessary health benefits and services, and the delivery of culturally appropriate addictions treatment and prevention programs.
Budget 2018 proposes to invest an additional $172.6 million over three years, beginning in 2018–19, to improve access to clean and safe drinking water on reserve. This funding will support initiatives to accelerate the pace of construction and renovation of affected water systems, which will result in 25 additional projects being completed by 2020 rather than 2021.
New investments will also support repairs to high-risk water systems to prevent additional long-term drinking water advisories. In addition, these new investments will assist efforts to recruit, train and retain water operators, and establish innovative First Nations-led service delivery models. This budget also focuses on creating and supporting distinctions-based housing strategies. This includes an additional $600 million over three years to support housing on reserve as part of a 10-year First Nations Housing Strategy that is being developed with First Nations.
Finally, this budget proposes to provide a contribution to the Province of Ontario to build a new hospital and ambulatory care facility to serve the health needs of remote and isolated James Bay communities, such as Attawapiskat, Fort Albany and Kashechewan. This contribution is part of Canada’s commitment under the Weeneebayko Area Health Integration Framework Agreement to continue the process of transferring health service delivery to the Nishawbe Aski Nation.