News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

February 1, 2021

Manitoba Government Signs Agreement with Government of Canada to Support Essential Air Access to Remote Communities

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Protecting Manitobans and Ensuring Crucial Services a Priority Through COVID-19: Eichler and Clarke

The governments of Canada and Manitoba have signed an agreement that will ensure air services to remote northern communities continue through the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development and Jobs Minister Ralph Eichler and Indigenous and Northern Relations Eileen Clarke announced today.

“Protecting Manitobans is our priority and we need to ensure remote communities will continue to receive the supplies they rely on during the pandemic,” said Eichler. “COVID-19 is impacting our transportation sector and this agreement will support air operators that provide essential service in and out of remote communities, as well as the communities they serve.”

The Government of Canada is contributing up to $12,031,000 for the province to allocate to air operators to address losses from the period of July 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. The agreement will maintain scheduled transportation service to 21 remote communities that rely on air service as the only year-round mode of transportation to ensure the continued supply of food, medical supplies and other essential goods and services.

“We are proud to work with the federal government, air industry and Indigenous partners to support the unique needs of our remote communities,” said Clarke. “In regions where there are no roads connecting communities, air services must remain operational as residents depend on this service for essential goods and access in and out of their communities. This partnership will help to ensure there will be no disruptions to services in our northern communities.”

“The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) welcomes these federal investments into essential air access to Northern First Nations and remote communities,” said Grand Chief Arlen Dumas, AMC. “These investments will ensure that airlines will endeavor to continue to provide uninterrupted services during the pandemic. We are at a very critical time in our north, and we must do all we can to ensure the safety of the First Nations citizens who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This funding comes at a very opportune time as the northern First Nations leadership works with airline companies and government to ensure the safety of our people. With this funding, the AMC looks forward to better safety measures and more accountability from some of the current air carriers that service Manitoba First Nations. On behalf of the First Nations leadership, I thank Minister Clarke and Minister Eichler for their important work in securing the funding; the AMC also extends appreciation to Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra for the very much needed support for the airline industry in northern Manitoba.”

Five air operators in Manitoba have been approved for funding, all of which service remote, northern communities. The funds will be allocated as follows:
• Amik Aviation - $710,978;
• Calm Air - $2,009,312;
• Missinippi Air - $967,049;
• Northway Aviation - $1,357,317; and
• Perimeter Aviation - $6,986,344.

“Ensuring that people and cargo can get in and out of remote northern Manitoba communities is at the core of what our airlines do and we’ve been proud to maintain this essential service since the start of the pandemic,” said Mike Pyle, CEO of Exchange Income Corporation, which owns Perimeter Aviation and Calm Air. “I’m pleased the federal and provincial governments are partnering with our airlines to assist in mitigating losses to ensure they can continue to be there to support Manitobans as we all weather the rest of this crisis.”

The ministers noted the federal and provincial governments will continue to evaluate community needs and the air industry’s pace of recovery into remote communities to determine any additional funding.

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