Question Period: First Nations Bank of Canada

By: The Hon. Marty Klyne

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Ottawa River, Gatineau and the Library of the Canadian Parliament, Ottawa

Hon. Marty Klyne: Senator Gold, I was pleased to see the announcement of the $100‑million participation agreement between the First Nations Bank of Canada and the Canada Infrastructure Bank that was announced earlier this month. I look forward to the First Nations Bank of Canada playing a managing role in the distribution of funds for infrastructure projects within Indigenous communities.

Can you elaborate on how this particular project aims to address infrastructure challenges within Indigenous communities and what specific types of projects will benefit from this funding?

Hon. Marc Gold (Government Representative in the Senate): Thank you for your question, senator.

My understanding is that the agreement will provide for a broad and long list of infrastructure programs to be funded, and this would include everything from broadband projects, roads and energy infrastructure to water and waste water management, housing, commercial and industrial developments. This is very important work that First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities will benefit from because they will be able to get loans more quickly and more easily.

Senator Klyne: As a supplemental question, Senator Gold, the CEO of the First Nations Bank of Canada, Mr. Bill Lomax, suggested in a CTV article that this agreement will provide accessible financing for projects ranging from large-scale developments to smaller initiatives, as you just outlined. Could you provide us with some assurances that this fund will, indeed, do just that?

Senator Gold: Thank you for your question.

It is my understanding that both the Canada Infrastructure Bank and the First Nations Bank of Canada have, indeed, stated that the agreement will cover both large-scale and smaller-scale infrastructure initiatives. However, it is important to note that, to a considerable degree, these infrastructure projects tend to be larger in scope, but it does cover all sizes of projects.

Senator Klyne: Thank you.

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