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Establishment of BC First Nations Equity Financing Framework in Budget 2024: A Strong Step toward Economic Reconciliation

Press Release

February 22, 2024 – (Lək̓ʷəŋən Territory) The First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) applauds today’s announcement by the Government of British Columbia (BC) in its 2024 Budget to create a $1 billion First Nations Equity Financing Framework (FNEFF) to support First Nations equity participation in projects that impact our territories. To support and bridge the time till enabled, BC also announced that $10m in funding, amongst other immediate impact tools, would be available through proposed legislation if passed, to establish a First Nations Equity Financing special account “to help support immediate capacity needs for those First Nations actively considering equity participation in priority projects.”

“I’m thrilled that the opportunity for First Nations to pursue ownership of major projects in BC is becoming real. Access to affordable and substantive capital to participate in major projects that cross our lands is a key issue that brought First Nations together to form FNMPC,” stated Chief Sharleen Gale, board chair of FNMPC. “Today’s announcement marks a major step in advancing economic reconciliation in British Columbia. I want to recognize Premier Eby, Minister Conroy, and Minister Osborne for their dedication and leadership to change the Province’s policy foundation and approach to help break down economic barriers for our Nations.”

FNMPC, as a national non-profit First Nation-led technical body, has long been researching the economic impact of government loan guarantees and advocating for their implementation and use by First Nations to access capital at more affordable interest rates. Through our internal research, it has shown that loan guarantees can increase the financial returns First Nations receive, through reduced interest rates and shortening loan amortization periods. We note other provinces have successfully established similar programs and the federal government recently committed to do the same.

“We have seen the success of Indigenous loan guarantee programs in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario, where these programs have helped to generate $1.5 billion in economic benefit for Indigenous Nations and growing. And note – with no history of default. The establishment of the BC Framework, sends a strong signal to the private sector and capital markets that First Nations equity partnerships in BC can be financed, and see projects get off the ground sooner rather than later. The year has started off in a meaningful fashion and I hope to see the Government of Canada follow through on their commitment with a robust federal program in Budget 2024 so that all Indigenous Nations across Canada can have access to affordable capital,” concluded Chief Gale.

FNMPC looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the Government of British Columbia on advancing the economic supports that assist First Nations in making informed business decisions as part of our pursuit of self-determination.


Media Contact

Niilo Edwards

Chief Executive Officer, First Nations Major Projects Coalition



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