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Canada  + Pacific Canada  + Finance  | 
Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Indigenous infrastructure funding will help unlock new commercial real estate investments, says federal cabinet minister Harjit Sajjan.

Indigenous Funding Will Unlock CRE Investment: Sajjan

Hundreds of millions of dollars in federal Indigenous infrastructure funding will help unlock new commercial real estate investments, says federal cabinet minister Harjit Sajjan.

He made the comments Tuesday in an interview with Connect at Douglas College’s Coquitlam, B.C. campus where he and other participants touted the federal Indigenous infrastructure investments laid out in the government’s 2024-25 budget.

Sajjan’s duties include overseeing PacifiCan, the government’s Pacific region economic development agency.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has earmarked $918 million for Indigenous housing and community infrastructure investments as well as $545 million for Indigenous studies and schools. Ottawa also plans to provide $5 billion worth of Indigenous loan guarantees to unlock access to capital.

“I would say real estate development is just one aspect,” said Sajjan., who also serves the emergency preparedness minister. “When you build a tower, you need all the sewage [treatment components, all the other work. This funding also unlocks all of that.”

The funding could will also benefit Indigenous communities seeking to develop resource projects, he added.

Sajjan said the money could be used for a variety of real estate developments, including educational facilities in rural communities and major urban centres. Indigenous leaders and communities will decide how and where they wish to invest.

“One of the things we don’t want to do is to say what’s needed,” said Sajjan.

But he supports the idea of using some of the money to develop facilities for Indigenous students.

Citing British Columbia’s Coast Salish people as an example, he said many Aboriginal groups have demonstrated that Indigenous-led projects can benefit everyone.

“[Benefitting everyone] is what this funding is about,” he said.

Sajjan suggested that some of the funds could go to Indigenous-led development projects already underway in urban centres.

“We can never anticipate who’s going to apply, or get that funding,” he said.

The funding is not guaranteed yet. The NDP, which has a supply and confidence agreement with the government, has not endorsed the budget yet.

The agreement effectively keeps the Liberal minority government in office in the event of a non-confidence motion. Budget rejection would be considered a no-confidence vote in the government and could lead to spell the Liberals’ defeat and a new election.

But NDP support is expected to come eventually..


Inside The Story

Harjit SajjanDouglas College

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

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