As first reported on Tuesday by Blacklock's Reporter, the free snow machines were purchased as part of an $8 million Harvester Grant program to promote traditional Indigenous hunting and berry picking.
“They will need equipment to go back to their traditional way of harvesting,” Annie Boudreau, the department’s chief financial officer testified, at a March 2020 Senate committee. At the time, the type and cost of the equipment involved in the program were not specified.
On Monday, at the House of Commons public accounts committee, the Crown-Indigenous Affairs Deputy Minister Daniel Quan-Watson confirmed the grants would cover new snowmobiles.
“I can tell you depending on what the recipient group chooses to do that snowmobiles can, yes, be available to it,” said Quan-Watson. “It’s decided by the Inuit themselves typically in the north or others who are eligible for the harvest grants.”