FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MARCH 26, 2021
STATEMENT BY CANADIAN COUNCIL FOR ABORIGINAL BUSINESS ON THE 2021 ONTARIO BUDGET
Toronto – March 26, 2021 – Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) President and CEO, Tabatha Bull, issued the following statement today outlining further opportunities to support Indigenous business through this year’s Budget from the Government of Ontario.
“CCAB was pleased to be invited to the technical briefing on the province of Ontario’s budget. We welcome the Government of Ontario’s focus on economic recovery and the additional efforts to support small business, with additional focus on those in the hardest hit sectors, including tourism.
We especially appreciate the Government of Ontario’s commitment to provide every household in Ontario with broadband internet by 2025.
CCAB has continued to highlight that reliable internet is not universally available to Indigenous businesses in Canada. CCAB’s research work, Promise and Prosperity: Indigenous Business Survey (2016), found that four in ten either have no internet connection (14%) or a connection on which they cannot fully rely (26%); these problems are more common for Indigenous businesses located on-reserve, and in remote areas.
The Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development has noted that the lack of access to reliable internet ‘makes it more difficult for Indigenous entrepreneurs in remote and rural communities to access business training skills programs. While free online business skills training is widely available, poor internet connectivity hinders its use.’
Coupled with increased access to broadband should be a proportional increase in Indigenous ownership and equity stake in Ontario’s broadband infrastructure. This solution would build Indigenous capacity and support place-based economic development opportunities and the self-determination of Indigenous peoples.
CCAB will continue to support the construction of resilient Indigenous-owned infrastructure, including broadband infrastructure to support Indigenous self-determination.”
About Tabatha Bull, President & CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Tabatha is Anishinaabe, a proud member of Nipissing First Nation. As CCAB’s president and CEO she is committed to help rebuild and strengthen the path towards reconciliation and a prosperous Indigenous economy to benefit all Canadians.
Serving the Indigenous community through CCAB’s commitment to support the Indigenous economy, Tabatha works with government, notably through her role with the federal government’s recent COVID-19 Supply Council, and various organizations, committees, and boards on Indigenous economic development.
An electrical engineer, Tabatha informs Canada’s energy sector by participating on many boards including Ontario’s electricity system operator IESO, the Positive Energy Advisory Council, the MARS Energy Advisory Council, and the C.D. Howe Institute’s Energy Policy program.
As a recent appointment to the Catalyst CEO advisory board in Canada, Tabatha collaborates with some of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Also, a member of Queen’s University Circle of Advisors, Centennial College’s Indigenous Circle, and a member of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce board, Tabatha is dedicated to diversity and removing systematic barriers to improve business competitiveness across all industry sectors.
About Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
CCAB is committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s economy. As a national, non-partisan association, its mission is to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness. CCAB offers knowledge, resources, and programs to its members to cultivate economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and businesses across Canada. For more information visit ccab.com.
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