Minister Vandal announces federal funding towards Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link to advance clean energy transition and broadband service delivery to the Kivalliq region of Nunavut

News release

March 21, 2024 — Calgary, AB — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada and Nukik Corporation

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, CanNor and PrairiesCan, announced in a keynote address to the Arctic Energy and Resource Symposium that Nukik Corporation is receiving an additional $2.8 million in funding from Canada’s Northern REACHE Program to advance the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project to the next phase of development.

Led by Nukik, an Inuit-owned corporation, the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link proposes to build a 1,200 kilometre, 150 megawatt transmission line with fibre-optic cabling connecting Manitoba’s grid to the Kivalliq region of Nunavut. This nation-building project would take five communities and at least one gold mine off costly and polluting diesel and deliver high-speed internet to the region. The project would also significantly reduce the risk associated with shipping heavy fuels across the Arctic waters and fuel spills in communities.

This funding will advance the project development phase activities, which include the engineering, design, and environmental fieldwork necessary for the project to move forward. It builds on previous federal funding for the earlier planning and feasibility phase of the project. Construction is expected to begin by 2028.

Many communities in the North continue to rely on diesel for electricity and heat, which is costly, polluting, and contributes to climate change. This Inuit-led project will play an important role in reducing energy costs and pollution in the Kivalliq region, while helping to create local jobs and multi-generational socio-economic benefits.

By advancing Indigenous Climate Leadership, Canada is implementing Action 46 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan. This is a necessary action to fight climate change, create economic prosperity, and build a strong, healthy, sustainable future for Indigenous communities across Canada.


“Our People have been wanting to turn to renewable and reliable electricity and connectivity for a long time. Our dependence on diesel fuel is not sustainable and it hinders our social and economic development. This new funding will further help advance a critical project and help Inuit access the same type of opportunities that exist elsewhere in Canada”.

Kono Tattuinee
President of the Kivalliq Inuit Association

“The Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link is not a ‘nice to have’, it is a ‘must have’ if we want to reach our national climate targets, walk the talk on economic reconciliation and build an equitable society for all Canadians, regardless of which part of the country they live in. Nunavut needs energy and connectivity optionality and this additional funding from the Northern REACHE Program will allow important development activities to proceed and get the project closer to financial close”.

Anne-Raphaëlle Audouin
CEO of Nukik Corporation

“Indigenous investment, participation, and governance over northern infrastructure and resource development is crucial to building healthy and sustainable communities. The Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link will play an important role in reducing pollution and energy costs and fostering economic development. Clean energy projects, such as this one, contribute greatly to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Canada is proud to support the advancement of this project and will continue to work with organizations such as the Kivalliq Inuit Association, Sakku Investments, and Nukik Corporation toward a greener, more prosperous future for Nunavut.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Northern Affairs, CanNor, and PrairiesCan

Quick facts

  • The territories in Canada are not connected to the North American electricity grid. The Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project would connect Nunavut to Manitoba’s grid, helping the communities of Arviat, Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove transition away from diesel for heating and electricity.

  • The transition to clean energy in this region will improve local air quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 371,000 metric tons annually, and displace 138 million litres of fuel per year.

  • The project will also modernize the region’s telecommunications systems and provide affordable, reliable internet service to nearly 10,000 residents of the Kivalliq region, allowing them to share in the same socio-economic opportunities as the rest of Canada.

  • The project will create jobs from its construction and operation and be the catalyst of economic opportunities for the region. Nukik Corporation has estimated that the project will contribute $3.2 billion to Canada’s GDP during construction and generate approximately $8 billion in revenue over 50 years.

  • Prior to today’s announcement, the Government of Canada, through Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs (CIRNAC) and Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency provided $11.6 million in funding to support the earlier planning and feasibility phase of the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project.

  • CIRNAC’s Northern REACHE program supports Indigenous and northern communities’ transition away from diesel fuel for electricity and heating by supporting and funding for renewable energy technologies such as solar, wind, hydroelectricity, and biomass heating. To date, Northern REACHE has supported a total of ten hydroelectricity projects in the North with an investment of over $35 million, including two for projects in Nunavut.

  • Supporting Indigenous leadership and collaborating on solutions to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in Northern communities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis is central to advancing the reconciliation journey and self-determination.

  • Launched in 2019 and developed with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a long-term vision for the Arctic and the North to reflect the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people.

Associated links


For more information, media may contact:

Carson Debert
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Nukik Corporation
Twitter: @NukikCorp
LinkedIn: @NukikCorporation

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