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Federal Budget Focus on Infrastructure and Reconciliation
Released the same day as the provincial budget, today’s 2017-18 federal budget had a positive outlook with a focus on infrastructure and support to Indigenous communities.
Last year, the Canadian government invested $1.9 million over five years to support key national cultural institutions. This year, the government will increase its investment to $1.8 billion over 10 years starting in 2018-19. Of this amount, more than $1.3 billion will be provided to provinces and territories through integrated bilateral agreements, on a base plus per capita allocation. The investment will be delivered through the second phase of social infrastructure funding.
A further $300 million over 10 years was identified to go the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund to help construct, renovate and better equip the creative spaces and hubs.
Budget 2017 is also proposing to invest $89.9 million over the next three years to support Indigenous languages and cultures. This includes $69 million to significantly enhance the Aboriginal Languages initiative; $14.9 million for Library and Archives Canada to support the digitization of existing Indigenous language and cultural materials; and $6 million for the National Research Council of Canada to develop, in collaboration with Indigenous stakeholders, information technology to preserve oral histories by converting speech to text, and creating other interactive education materials.
In addition, to celebrate and promote Canada’s linguistic diversity, $80 million over 10 years will be invested to support the construction of community educational infrastructure in official language minority communities.
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