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Dear Dale Swampy:
I acknowledge the concerns that you expressed in your correspondence received May 3, 2021, addressed to the Prime Minister in response to the announcement of Budget 2021.
Thank you for sharing concerns with respect to investments needed to support the natural resources industry as a means of both aiding in the economic prosperity of First Nation communities and in supporting Canada’s transition to a lower-carbon future. Along with overall health, safety, and well-being, the Government of Canada has prioritized the economic relief and recovery of Indigenous communities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Budget 2021 both builds on existing programs, and also creates several new initiatives to assist with immediate and continuing needs in the context of COVID-19. In addition to these short-term emergency measures, Budget 2021 includes long-term investments to work toward closing long-standing socio-economic gaps while also prioritizing initiatives aimed at addressing climate change.
While our colleagues in the Department of Finance and Natural Resources Canada will be able to speak more directly to initiatives involving energy and natural resources, we would like to highlight some of the measures within Budget 2021 that support Indigenous businesses, including those in the natural resource industry.
Thank you for sharing your concerns over the investments in Budget 2021 and measures needed to support poverty reduction in First Nation communities and natural resource development. No relationship is more important to the federal government than the relationship with Indigenous Peoples, and we look forward to engaging with First Nation organizations and leadership in the implementation of these new investments as we continue to walk the shared path of reconciliation.
The Honourable Marc Miller, PC, MP
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