Government of Canada Announces Investments for the North Coast of Labrador

News release

Upgrades to the Atsanik Inn in Nain will be undertaken while Nunatsiavut Government will conduct prefeasibility assessment for airport

August 24, 2019 – Nain (NL) – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Investments in Atlantic Canada’s businesses and communities help create good-paying jobs for the middle class and open opportunities for growth and diversity. Improvements to tourism and transportation infrastructure in small, rural and remote communities like Nain spark increased growth and development, generating opportunities for economic success in the region.

The Atsanik Inn, the only hotel in Nain, will be completing renovations and updates to offer higher quality accommodations for tourists, while enhancing its energy efficiency and reducing its environmental footprint. The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), is providing a repayable contribution of $400,000 towards this project.

To provide guidance in the planning for a new airport in the community of Nain, the Nunatsiavut Government will be hiring expertise to conduct a prefeasibility assessment. The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is providing a non-repayable contribution of $199,395 towards this project. Additional support has also been made available to the Nunatsiavut Government from Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, through the Inuit-Crown Partnership (ICPC), which has identified improving infrastructure as a priority.

Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Baines, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA, made the announcements today.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit organizations to fuel business growth.

The Government of Canada believes strongly in working collaboratively with Indigenous governments, including the Nunatsiavut Government, to improve the socio-economic and health outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Canada.


“Investing in businesses like the Atsanik Inn creates jobs, diversifies and strengthens communities, and opens up Labrador to more tourists. Tourism relies on more and better infrastructure – and a prosperous economy in Atlantic Canada is buoyed by investments that help Nain, the Nunatsiavut Government and the Government of Canada bring more people to this beautiful part of the country.”

- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South-Mount Pearl

“Tourism to the northern regions of Labrador is growing in popularity due to the beautiful landscape, tranquil environment and unique cultural experiences the region offers. I am pleased that the Government of Canada is supporting the Atsanik Inn to renovate and update its facilities. Investments in our tourism infrastructure are a catalyst in developing the region’s capacity for tourism and supporting business growth and job creation. There is still a great deal of information needed before plans can proceed for a new airport in Nain. This investment will help gather more data to ensure the best decisions are made in the best interests of our Northern residents and visitors.”

- Yvonne Jones, Member of Parliament for Labrador

“I am pleased and thankful for the support from the Government of Canada for this project. Having quality accommodations is vital in advancing tourism in our region.”

- Patricia Dicker, President, Atsanik Inn

” The deterioration, length and location of the existing airstrip in Nain, and the fact that it is not equipped to accommodate night landings, has raised major safety concerns for many years. Constraints related to instrument approaches and visual flight rules are also contributing factors to frequent delayed or cancelled flights, resulting in a direct and negative impact on the community. The Nunatsiavut Government is pleased to partner with the Government of Canada to explore options to improve and enhance air transportation services to the community.”

- Johannes Lampe, President of Nunatsiavut

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada invested $400,000 in the Atsanik Inn project through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP).

  • The BDP primarily assists Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who want to start a business, increase productivity or improve operations.

  • The Government of Canada also invested a previously-announced contribution of $100,000 towards this project through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Women Entrepreneurship Fund.

  • The Atsanik Inn offers 25 rooms and caters to the business community, tourists, construction industry, and various travelling government agencies.

  • The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Nunatsiavut Government have recently placed additional focus on tourism in Labrador, and therefore Nain is expecting an increase in national and international tourism, and quality accommodations are key to growing tourism in the Nain area.

  • The Government of Canada is also investing $199,395 in the Nunatsiavut Government airport prefeasibility project through ACOA’s BDP. Additional financial support is available to the Nunatsiavut Government through the Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee from CIRNAC.

  • Established in 2005, the Nunatsiavut Government has responsibilities and rights similar to other governments, such as planning for sustainable economic development, protecting and preserving Labrador Inuit culture and traditions, and implementing social programs on behalf of Beneficiaries of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement.

  • The deteriorating infrastructure at the existing airstrip in Nain is affecting on-going activities in the community. Due to various constraints related to instrument approaches, visual flight rules and excessive weather, many flights are delayed or cancelled during the year. This has a direct and negative impact on the local citizens and the movement of cargo, and consequently, on the supply of food, medical evacuations, and the movement of people travelling to and from Nain.

  • Previous research by the Nunatsiavut Government has indicated the airport in Nain must be relocated in order to better serve the population.

  • The Inuit-Crown Partnership Committee consists of Inuit representative organizations and governments, including the Nunatsiavut Government, working in collaboration with Federal partners to advance shared priorities.

  • The investments made today build on other ICPC priorities, including the Inuit Nunangat Housing Strategy, which is supported by direct Inuit housing investments of $400 million over 10 years, announced in Budget 2018.


Paul McGrath
Director of Communications

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Patricia Dicker
Atsanik Inn
(709) 933-3750 (ext. 2226)

Bert Pomeroy
Director of Communications
Nunatsiavut Government
(709) 896-8582

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: