CBC has learned that Aboriginal Affairs held back $1 billion in funding to Indigenous peoples over five years, allowing critical needs in Aboriginal communities, like potable water, housing and education, to go unmet. In an email to the CBC, Aboriginal Affairs said that “lapsed funds” are carried forward to future needs and used on a variety of programs, though the spokesperson did not specify what the carried forward funds were used for.
CBC notes though that the\ planned budget for Aboriginal Affairs will shrink by $1 billion by 2017/18. National Chief Perry Bellegarde said the Crown is failing to meet its fiduciary and human rights obligations to First Nations people. “The overall message I think we have to get out, not only to [Aboriginal] Affairs, but to Canadians in general, is that there’s got to be greater investments in education and training and housing and water, and in focusing on the youth, because there’s a high social gap that exists in Canada,” he said.