YELLOWKNIFE — The Government of Canada is investing $102.5 million for a project that will improve the flow of goods and people to northern communities.
This project, funded through the National Trade Corridor Fund, is expected to have significant economic and employment benefits by creating an estimated 400 jobs over the life of the project, states a Transport Canada release issued June 27.
The Government of Northwest Territories is contributing $37.5 million to the project for a federal-provincial combined investment of $140 million.
The funding will support several key phases of the longer-term Mackenzie Valley Highway project including:
- construction of a bridge over the Great Bear River, which will improve the resiliency of the winter road to climate change, enhance safety, extend the number of operating days of the winter road by two to four weeks and enhance the efficiency of community resupply operations;
- construction of a 15-kilometre all-weather road from Wrigley north to Mount Gaudet; and
- next steps in moving forward with the Mackenzie Valley Highway, including environmental and planning studies. The studies will inform final routing and design for the eventual construction of the all-weather highway, leading to obtaining permits for road construction.
According to the release, the Government of Canada is supporting infrastructure projects that contribute most to Canada’s continued success in international trade, for example, projects being funded will: address the unique transportation needs in Canada’s territorial North to improve safety and foster economic and social development; support economic activity and the physical movement of goods and people in Canada; help the transportation system withstand the effects of climate change and make sure it is able to support new technologies and innovation; address transportation bottlenecks and congestion along Canada’s trade corridors; and increase the fluidity of Canadian trade around the world through our ports, airports, roads, railways, intermodal facilities, bridges and border crossings.
Provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profit and for-profit private-sector organizations, federal Crown Corporations, Canadian Port Authorities, and National Airport System Airport Authorities are all eligible for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund.
“This funding announcement is of great significance to the Northwest Territories and supports key components of the larger Mackenzie Valley Highway project,” said Wally Schumann, minister of infrastructure, Northwest Territories, in a statement.
“Highway infrastructure plays a very important part in the longevity and health of our communities. Not just because of the connections it will make, but also because of the skills, training and economic benefit opportunities that construction projects bring to the communities and the people of the north.”