Some people in northern Saskatchewan are unhappy with the Nutrition North Program which recently received more federal funding.
The program is designed to cut down on the high cost of food, but only Fond du Lac, Stony Rapids and Black Lake are on the list of communities which qualify for the program.
Those three communities could only received a partial subsidy of $0.05 per kilogram on certain items shipped north.
Glen Strong with Points Athabasca Contracting says he is not aware of anyone in Saskatchewan who is actually taking part in the program.
“The federal government will babysit in Ottawa and develop programs like this but really haven’t, I don’t think, given it the full thought on how this is going to work and what does it mean to people.”
He adds another contributing factor is changes which have taken place in the north.
“Now that we have access to the south through the Athabasca seasonal road, you’ll find that many people drive out if they have meetings or some reason to get out to Prince Albert. And then they will load up their truck with goods, which really is a deterrent for retailers to even set up shop up in the far north.”
A recent Auditor General’s report criticized the Nutrition North Program, which has an annual budget of $60 million and replaced the old Food Mail Program in 2011.