Canada’s Nutrition North food list announced

The new list of items  to be subsidized under Canada’s Nutrition North Program was released today.

Items covered under the program include traditional country foods bought in local stories or from processing plants that have registered with the Nutrition North program. The list also includes perishable items and store-bought foods deemed nutritious.

“The Government of Canada remains committed to providing Northerners with healthy food choices through the Nutrition North Canada program,” Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of Health and MP for Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, said in a press release issued today. “This list covers a broad range of foods that are typical of the northern diet, including country foods”.

The Nutrition North Program caused much controversy earlier this year when it replaced the previous Food Mail program on April 1.

Under the old program,  food transport into remote northern communities was subsidized. Under the new program, retailers will get the subsidy, organize their own transport rates, and are expected to pass savings on to consumers.

When the change was announced, there were fears that the new program could increase food prices for Northerners. Some small retailers feared the new program would give large companies an advantage.

The government instituted an 18-month transition period with a transition list of subsidized items to give northerners and businesses time to prepare for the changes.

The reduced list of subsidized items announced today comes into effect October 1, 2012.

Nutrition North Canada affects 103 northern communities in Canada’s provinces and territories: Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon.


Nutrition North Canada, Government of Canada.

Quebec Inuit Brace for Higher Food Prices, Radio Canada International.

Food Subsidy Changes Debated in Canada’s Western Arctic, CBC News

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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