Idlout warns federal budget will cut funding for Indigenous supports

Nunavut NDP MP says it’s ‘frustrating’ and warns it will hurt effort to provide better housing

Nunavut MP Lori Idlout, seen earlier this month at a government announcement in Iqaluit, is calling on the federal government to reverse planned spending cuts to Indigenous services in 2024’s federal budget. (File photo by Jeff Pelletier)

By Jorge Antunes

As the federal government prepares to release its 2024 budget Tuesday, Nunavut’s NDP MP Lori Idlout is sounding the alarm over what she says will amount to billions of dollars in spending cuts to Crown-Indigenous Relations and Indigenous Services Canada.

“It is frustrating to have … successive Liberal and Conservative governments not investing enough in Indigenous Peoples,” Idlout said in an interview Monday.

“These kinds of cuts will mean that Indigenous Peoples will remain in poverty, that [they] will remain marginalized, that … most of us will continue to live in overcrowded housing conditions.”

Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland is scheduled to deliver the Liberal government’s budget at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the House of Commons.

Last month, the NDP called on the Liberals to reverse planned cuts to services that affect Indigenous people. New Democrats said many programs were being allowed to “sunset,” meaning existing budgets will be spent with no plan to extend or renew them.

The NDP cited a 2023-24 plan by the Department of Indigenous Services that estimated $7.6 billion in spending would be cut by 2026 as programs weren’t renewed.

Indigenous Services Minister Patty Hajdu told reporters last month her department is “going through the exercise” but is looking at areas like “duplication” in services, not cuts to direct service delivery, according to a CBC report.

In its warnings, the NDP cited the government’s 2023 budget in which it pledged to reduce spending by $14.1 billion over the next five years.

According to Indigenous Services Canada’s departmental plan for 2024, cuts as well as programs that will ‘sunset’ are how it will do its part to meet that commitment.

Combined, Indigenous Services Canada and Crown-Indigenous Relations were expected to see cuts of about $416 million over the next three years to help meet commitments in the 2023 federal budget.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also called on the Liberals to reverse those planned cuts last month, citing what he said were dire conditions some Indigenous families live under.

“Instead of making homes safe, the federal government is telling Indigenous people that there is no money to remove mould from their homes,” Singh said in a news release March 20.

“Indigenous peoples have been neglected by Liberals and Conservatives for decades. And now the Liberals want to cut programs that ensure Indigenous children get the care they need. This is unacceptable.”

The NDP warned cuts will include areas like Jordan’s Principle, a federal program with funding to ensure Indigenous children have access to essential education, health and social services and products.

Idlout said any cuts to “[Jordan’s Principle] are a huge concern, given that it was a legal obligation for the federal government. It’s deeply concerning, because it will have a direct impact on First Nations and Inuit children.”

She said Canada needs to invest more in “Indigenous peoples so that we can make the decisions that we want to without fear of a lack of funding.”

 

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(40) Comments:

  1. Posted by Northerner on

    Of course , Justin is going to cut spending ,he has been spending like a drunken sailor , VISA IS MAXED OUT !!!!

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    • Posted by MARS on

      I don’t believe they are cutting spending. The budget will be more intended to garner support from voters ahead of next years federal election.

      Take from that what you will.

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    • Posted by Hunter on

      $50 Billion in servicing the National debt this fiscal year. Now the national debt is costing Canadians $95,000 every minute over the next 365 days and this number is going to grow as the Liberals are planning to tac on an additional $40 Billion to the debt this fiscal year.

      Where are the cuts you speak of? Justin has taxed the middle class to death and is now going after the rich because all of his friends have lined their pockets with our tax dollars though all the scams they are going. SNC Lavilin, GS Strategies, Green Fund, what else is going to be uncovered over the coming years?

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      • Posted by Hunter too on

        Don’t forget the arrive can app. This gov’t is bleeding the tax payer dry. We are now on life support

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    • Posted by Hunter on

      Where are the cuts you speak of? Liberals are tacking an additional $40 billion on to the national debt this fiscal year and probably even more.

      A whooping $50 Billion this fiscal year in servicing the National debt alone. Now the national debt is costing Canadians $95,000 every minute over the next 365 days and this number is going to grow as the Liberals are planning to tac on an additional $40 Billion to the debt this fiscal year

      They are going to have to do massive cuts or add 2 million additional people to Canada population to increase Canada’s GDP .

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  2. Posted by iThink™ on

    The NDP of course can not imagine a world where anyone but the government removes the “mold from people’s homes.” The idea that people should take responsibility for their own shit is completely beyond them. And of course, in their world indigenous people are always viewed as wards of the state, their quality of life dependent on massive transfers of cash which act as a surrogate for real economic development within their own communities. Another alien concept to them.

    As is typical with NN articles relevant context need not be included (why is the government cutting its spending?). Should we have a discussion about our ballooning national debt and out of control deficits? No, no… completely beside the point, right? Of no value to the conversation at all, eh?

    Even the CBC is “sounding the alarm” Nunatsiaq, maybe you should pay attention too…

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-fall-economic-statmenet-2023-1.7035098

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  3. Posted by Arcticrick on

    NoDamPlan,lol

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  4. Posted by Louisa G. on

    This lady is only a ‘bad news bear’, she announces only bad news, come on lady do some helpful advice instead of just giving bad news.

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    • Posted by TP on

      The MP wrote a piece for News North a couple of weeks ago for the 25th anniversary of Nunavut as a Territory. It was just several paragraphs of the typical grievances without any ideas for improvement, beyond the government throwing many billions of dollars into Nunavut. The only accomplishment she could conjure up was helping a handful of athletes get their passports slightly faster than the normal processing time. Thats a pretty poor track record for the 30 months since being elected. Maybe she should schedule a tour to investigate the condition of housing in the territory, that’s an NDP staple.

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    • Posted by Name Withheld on

      Let’s see if you can run for MP and give better news . Lori, don’t let any comments such as this give you any discouragement . Continue and keep voicing out and don’t let nothing stop you as you are doing a wonderful job .

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  5. Posted by Northerner on

    New mp. Old mp. Nothing ever really changes.

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  6. Posted by Confused on

    The biggest land transfer in Canadian history, the devolution, might have something to with this 🙁

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  7. Posted by Mass Formation on

    At the last hour Nunavut’s NDP MP screams with heart and passion. The sky is falling about housing. Strange on February 5, and March 21 when the same MP voted YES for carbon tax and YES, there will be no halt to carbon tax. It was radio silence before and after.

    With the increased carbon tax, it means everything… Especially food, becomes more expensive across Nunavut (and Canada).

    The NDP Bill C-372, to be jailed if talk positively about oil and gas. And the Liberal Bill C-63 if talk anything the government doesn’t like, jailed for life. Since we, in Nunavut, value freedom of speech, are the government’s plans to build new jails instead of new Nunavut housing?

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  8. Posted by Aqpik on

    the PM needs to stop funding other countries! and the miltary! what other countries give assistance as much as Canada? this gov’t needs to look after its own people first! Canadians !!!
    Our money needs to stay in OUR country! STOP HELPING OTHER COUNTRIES! they don’t give assistance to our country!

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    • Posted by Serious? on

      Stop funding the military? Stop helping? Who want to live in an undefended nation with a weak economy and hated by everyone else? Other countries do help us big time! Wants food and a house? Wants to help our citizens? Join the army! In BC, we are very happy when other countries come to help us fight forest fires…

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  9. Posted by Koana for being our voice on

    Keep it up and ignore the noise as we need a voice in Ottawa. We will vote for you again and we are never going Conservative again. We thank you for serving.

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    • Posted by Quana for being nobody’s voice on

      Yes, and quana Lori for asking for more and more handouts from the federal government and having little to no hope in the drive and self-succifiency of inuit and all Nunavummiut.

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  10. Posted by H.G. Omger on

    I’ve seen Jordan’s principle abused too many times by people whose real problem is money management.

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  11. Posted by Concerned Inuk on

    We should declare our own country,like Greenland.
    Leave Canada and Quebec permanently.
    Discrimination and all.

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    • Posted by The Details Matter on

      Mmmm, then it will take a decade to negotiate the customs and immigration agreements with Canada, so no one will be leaving Nunavut for any sort of education or medical care until that is done. How long to negotiate the entry of aircraft and ships into the new country? Gonna be a bit cold and hungry methinks. What exactly would Nunavut’s share of the national debt be? Banking arrangements would be a problem. When all of the banks leave, what will we do? Oh, it doesn’t matter, because all of the money will go away too.

      There would be just a few details to work out in your plan.

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      • Posted by SARCASM on

        Yep , leave canada , back to our culture and back on the land.

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    • Posted by Uviluk on

      LOL you are delusional! Leave and then what? No federal programs, housing, military, police, MEDICAL!!! How does Nunavut run now? Baffinland? Agnico? Hahaha!

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    • Posted by Please do it on

      You absolutely should leave Canada, I agree.

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  12. Posted by Keep up the great job Ms. Idlout on

    Thank you for pushing the government on Indigenous matters which serves your riding all the way. For never embarrassing us by reading papers at work. We will proudly and loudly support you at the next election.

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    • Posted by Bluffy St. Marie on

      No, “you” will support her in the next election.

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  13. Posted by Mit on

    Miss Trina “Mummilaq” Qaqqaq yet? I sure do

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    • Posted by John WP Murphy on

      Hey MIT. No Thanks. two wrongs don’t make a right

      In Nunavut, the last three wrongs still didn’t make it right for us.

      But, wait for it. Help is coming. And we will avoid number four.

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  14. Posted by Bertrand Russell on

    “These kinds of cuts will mean that Indigenous Peoples will remain in poverty, that [they] will remain marginalized, that … most of us will continue to live in overcrowded housing conditions.”

    This from the lawyer that is famously against iron mining that will over the life of the business, create hundreds of thousands of person years of employment, tens of billions in Inuit contracting and perhaps a billion in Inuit royalties?

    The same amount of money that we got from our entire land claim (that required that we ceded 80% of our land)? That could, if managed right, end homelessness in Baffin over time?

    No. The Federal budget will not keep us in poverty all on its own. Federal cuts will only make Inuit suffer if you, as one of our elected leaders, suppresses development at the same time.

    Somehow, the NDP of all people have forgotten that development is the economic catalyst the world over for creating a middle class, human dignity, productivity, prosperity and well-being.

    If the NDP cannot support labor, what are they, the Green Party? Time to change Orange to Green?

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    • Posted by Sam on

      Liberal puppet on a string

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  15. Posted by Fraud on

    It doesn’t help when white settlers, like the Qalipu, are being recognized as ‘indigenous’ by an ignorant federal government. As a result, white settlers are urging each other to access Jordan’s Principle.

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    • Posted by This too.. on

      I know ‘indigenous’ people with good paying government jobs, but can’t manage their funds because they like to buy nice things, who have used Jordan’s Principle to get more furniture because they had already maxed out their credit cards.

      Is that fraud, or something else?

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    • Posted by Mit on

      Some pretty serious allegations. Do you have any proof or is this something you read on your mentally unstable uncle’s Facebook?

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  16. Posted by Hunter on

    I want to know why she support the carbon tax. Media needs to do some digging as to why she supports the carbon tax.

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    • Posted by Actually the NDP is question the liberals on the carbon tax on

      The NDP see the tax has limited effect on climate change and far reaching on the masses when they should focus on the big producers. Thank you for raising it and no need to vote for the Conservative Party to protest the tax. Just don’t vote liberal as that is a vote for the carbon tax.

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      • Posted by Hunter on

        1. NDP voted to implement the carbon tax along side the Liberals

        2. NDP voted to increase the carbon tax multiple times along side the Liberals

        3. NDP voted down the Conservative Motion to eliminate the carbon tax. along side the Liberals

        Three strikes against the NDP on this issue which is driving up the cost of living for all of Canadians especially those of us living in remote northern fly in communities.

        Need fuel to burns to ship our food on the sealift

        Need fuel to burn to ship fresh food on jets and planes

        These two forms of transportation do not get rebates.

        We who live in remote communities are being punished 10 x more than the average Canadian living in a city centre.

        If you want the Carbon Tax eliminated your only option is to vote CONSERVATIVE!

        Unless the NDP vote to eliminate it before the next election their voting record speaks for itself.

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    • Posted by Mass Formation on

      Here’s part of your answer. From last week, April 8. 2024, an APTN headline…

      ‘Prices in the north are still sky high’: NDP MP questions cost of groceries in Nunavut.

      First, continuously vote hand in hand on everything with the Liberals. Including the Carbon tax, to increase food prices.

      Wait in silence a week after the carbon tax increase. So people notice their hopeless struggle to feed their kids and grammy.

      Then, as if on cue, bark in the House at the Liberals about Nunavut sky-high food prices.

      NDP/Liberal pulling the muskox wool over the eyes of Nunavut.

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  17. Posted by Paul on

    What about the hundreds of millions the federal government has provided to NTI the last three years? Hundreds of million sitting with NTi from the feds, we don’t know what all these funding is being used on and why NTi does not provide any updates anymore and no one seems to know what’s happening and no one is asking any questions, especially from the media.
    I find this incredibly strange when our MP doesn’t even seem to know about all the funds from the Feds sitting at NTI, for housing, programs for all kinds of things, new funding to boot.

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  18. Posted by John WP Murphy on

    I find it interesting that our MP is critical of the budget presented, but will vote yes to approve it. NDP Hypocracy?

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  19. Posted by John Day on

    The NATO/US military I heard and it is logical enough is used to project power. The US has been doing that since WW2. And where is Canada on that decision, small potatoes as they say. The UN, international law everything doesn’t mean anything when the forces can do as they are directed, not only that but far worst is the decisions are made by them, politicians who speak for peace are taken care of. JFK being the prime example.

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  20. Posted by TGC on

    As connections although indirect are there, on the larger picture The Real News Network with contributors such as Michael Hudson, Pepe Escobar, Aaron Mate (Canadian), Radhika Desai (Canadian) we have access to a great source of information.

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