Nutrition North Gets an Upgrade
Iqaluit, NU – The federal government has announced steps it hopes will bolster the Nutrition North Canada program, which it says has not been working for Northerners. Following extensive engagement with Northern and Indigenous partners, community members and key stakeholders, the Government of Canada says it will tackle the high cost of food for people living in isolated Northern communities. “The Advisory Board is very pleased to see that the concerns and feedback from Northerners are reflected in the changes to the Nutrition North Canada Program,” said Nellie Cournoyea, Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board Chair. “Throughout the public engagement process, Northerners most often expressed the need for further support for traditional harvesting. That is why we particularly welcome the Government’s commitment to introduce a Harvesters Support Grant to help lower the high costs associated with traditional hunting and harvesting activities. ”As of the first of this year, improvements include: a fully revised subsidized foods list, which includes a focus on Northern staples and family-friendly items; a new highest-level subsidy rate specifically for milk, frozen fruit, frozen vegetables, infant formula, and infant food; and, an increase to the two current subsidy rates to help further lower cost of perishable, nutritious food. Today’s announcement follows the commitment in the 2018 Fall Economic Statement to invest an additional $62.6 million over five years, starting in 2019-20 with $10.4 million for the program.