First Nations with existing loans under the First Nations Finance Authority will receive interest payment relief with support from Canada in the amount of $17.1 million.
FNFA provides First Nation governments with access to long-term loans with preferable interest rates for essential infrastructure and economic development. It is anticipated that these dollars will provide relief to 58 First Nations borrowers.
COVID-19 is affecting the revenue sources used to pay interest and principal on the loans. The federal government is providing this financial relief so that the First Nations can allocate financial resources to other critical needs, like the health and safety needs of their communities during the pandemic, reads a press statement from Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett.
It will also stabilize the First Nations Fiscal Management Act regime and the First Nations Finance Authority's credit rating.
"We recognize that we can support First Nations by providing greater financial flexibility during these difficult times,” said the minister.
"Canada's support is a positive step forward for those First Nation governments under the First Nations Fiscal Management Act with revenue streams specifically impacted by COVID-19 and social distancing measures,” said Ernie Daniels, president and CEO of FNFA.