Extra funding to support air services to remote communities in Saskatchewan
The Canadian government has announced that it will provide an additional C$1.167 million in funding to the province of Saskatchewan to ensure that it is able to continue the support of essential air services for remote communities.
It notes that the global COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for Northern and remote communities which depend on supply chains for the delivery of essential goods and services.
According to Transport Canada, as the pandemic evolves, the federal government will continue to work with partners, including provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous communities and the air industry, to address the unique needs of these communities.
The funding is in addition to the C$1.592 million provided to the Government of Saskatchewan in 2020, to maintain essential air services to remote communities.
This financial contribution is expected to help maintain minimum levels of air transportation services to remote communities in Saskatchewan to ensure continued access to essential goods and services, including community resupply of food and medical supplies.
“Our government understands the importance of reliable air services in sustaining the social and economic well-being of our northern and remote communities,” says Canada’s Minister of Transport, Omar Alghabra.
“This investment will ensure that, as we work towards recovery and travel restart post pandemic, people living and working in remote Saskatchewan communities will continue to have access to air services for delivery of essential goods and services and for essential travel between communities in Saskatchewan.
“We are pleased to be working with our territorial and Indigenous partners and the air industry to support communities as we start to build back better.”
Fred Bradshaw, minister of highways for Saskatchewan, adds: “The dual efforts of fighting COVID-19 and ensuring our economy recovers from the pandemic must be made in every corner of the province.
“We are very grateful that the Government of Canada recognises the need for reliable air travel to Saskatchewan’s North to achieve these goals, and that it continues to invest in this crucial area of support for our remote communities.”
- Under the funding agreements for the Remote Air Services Program, a fixed amount of funding is allocated to each province or territory that has remote communities. Provinces and territories are responsible for allocating the funding to specific air carriers.
- Remote communities are those that rely on air service as the only practical year-round mode of transportation.
- There are five communities with airports or aerodromes in Saskatchewan which are considered remote: Stony Rapids, Fond-du-Lac, Uranium City, Wollaston Lake and Camsell Portage.
- Some communities may have limited access to seasonal ice roads or long and unreliable gravel roads.