June 15th, 2024

Alberta raises Crown agency’s loan guarantee capacity, cites economic reconciliation

By The Canadian Press on October 30, 2023.

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith gives the state of the province address in Edmonton on Wednesday October 25, 2023. Smith announced that her government will help Indigenous communities in the province thrive by supporting the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Commission in raising the capacity of loan guarantees from 1 to 3 billion dollars. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON – Alberta’s premier has announced the government is expanding the loan guarantee capacity of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp.

Premier Danielle Smith says Indigenous Peoples have historically been overlooked and underserved within Alberta’s economy, and that her government is looking to change that.

The province says it has doubled the Crown corporation’s loan guarantee capacity to $2 billion and will increase it to $3 billion in 2024-25.

The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corp., which launched in 2019, is intended to address long-standing barriers for Indigenous groups by reducing the costs of borrowing and increasing the amounts that can be borrowed for major infrastructure projects.

Alberta Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson says the federal Indian Act does not allow First Nations to use their land as collateral and makes it hard for them to borrow money for such projects.

Chana Martineau, CEO of the Crown corporation, says that since 2019, it has helped 27 Indigenous communities invest over $500 million in large-scale infrastructure projects in Alberta.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 30, 2023.

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