Marco Mendicino, federal Minister of Public Safety, and NWT MP Michael McLeod were at Glen’s Your Independent Grocer on Thursday morning.
Among shoppers, they talked about the federal government’s budget for 2023, not too dissimilar from minister Dan Vandal’s stop in the capital on March 30.
They were there to highlight the new grocery rebate for low to modest income Canadians, which offers $467 for eligible couples with children, $234 for single people without children, and $225 for seniors, on average.
“We’re here to talk about Budget 2023, which is all about helping Canadians pay the bills.” said Mendicino.
Mendicino said that one of their other priorities is creating jobs in the North.
“The way in which we are doing that is by leveraging natural resources and energy in the North with a lot of commitment to long-term projects around critical minerals and the like,” he said. “(That) is exactly how we’re going to create more jobs but (we’re doing) it in a way that is sustainable and clean to promote a prosperous future that is respectful of our climate.”
Yellowknifer asked Mendicino if he was aware of the elimination of the home heating rebate in the NWT and how Northern communities were being affected by increased costs of living.
“That’s exactly why I’m here, which is to connect with Canadians that live in the North and with Michael McLeod, who has been such a strong voice for people who live in the North and making sure that perspective is being reflected in our policies, including when it comes to taking climate action and promoting jobs,” he said. “In my conversations that I’ve had in the last day and a half, whether it’s with First Nations communities or with local entrepreneurs, is that climate action and climate change is occurring, that we are seeing those impacts particularly in the North.
“It’s important that we leverage all of the economic advantages that exist in the North through natural resources, through critical minerals, through energy, (and) also create the kind of policies that will take the decisive action that is necessary to protect our environment for the long term.”
Mendicino said that he plans to speak with the Dene Nation and will be visiting Behchoko before returning south.
The federal government plans has budgeted a total of $2.5 billion on the grocery rebate.