16 August 2013
Building the Canadian North is an essential part of building our nation. To further address the opportunities and challenges that exist, the Government of Canada introduced Canada's Northern Strategy in 2007. The Strategy presents an overarching vision for the North, based on four priorities: exercising our Arctic sovereignty; promoting social and economic development; protecting our environmental heritage; and, improving and devolving Northern governance.
The Government of Canada continues to deliver on its Northern Strategy commitments. Economic development is progressing like never before. Investments in science are helping exploration companies discover important natural resource deposits. The commercialization of these deposits is being expedited through responsible resource development while respecting the environment. Northerners are being trained to fill the growing number of jobs being created and devolution is underway to help ensure that the territories participate fully in resource development.
Most recently, we entered into an historic devolution agreement to provide the Northwest Territories with greater decision-making powers over a range of new responsibilities which will lead to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.
The Government of Canada is also building on strengthened social infrastructure through housing, education, medical, and recreation facilities.
This year in particular, Economic Action Plan 2013: Jobs, Growth, and Long-Term Prosperity outlines a number of initiatives to maintain the momentum of our Northern Strategy, including:
- $200 million for the construction of an all-season gravel road from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories ($150 million committed in 2011 and then increased to $200 million in 2013). Construction of the 140-kilometre road began in early 2013;
- $100 million over two years (2013-2015) to support the construction of about 250 new housing units in Nunavut;
- Capital support for Yukon College’s Centre for Northern Innovation in Mining in order to help Northerners benefit from local employment opportunities and rapid economic growth; and
- $4 million over three years (2013-2016) to protect against invasive species through the continued monitoring and enforcement of ballast water regulations and an increase in ballast water inspection capacity in Arctic waters.
These investments continue to build on prior commitments and concrete actions to improve everyday life in the North, such as:
- $27 million over five years (2011-2016) to expand adult basic education programming to increase employment opportunities for Northerners;
- An ongoing commitment to establish the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in Cambridge Bay;
- $50 million over two years (2012-2014) to protect wildlife species at risk;
- $5.2 billion over 11 years, starting in 2012, for the renewal of the Canadian Coast Guard Fleet;
- $40.5 million (2007-2013) to establish a commercial fisheries harbour in Pangnirtung, Nunavut;
- Up to $71 million (2009-2012) for improvements to the Mayo B hydroelectric facility in the Yukon;
- The expansion of the boundaries of the Nahanni National Park Reserve to protect over 30,000 km2 of crucial habitat for grizzly bears, woodland caribou and Dall’s sheep;
- Improvements to northern regulatory regimes through the Northern Jobs and Growth Act, which received Royal Assent on June 19, 2013, that respond to the economic development needs of Northerners and build on our government’s commitment to jobs, growth and long-term prosperity; and
- $6.4 million over two years (2012-2014) to support repairs and improvements to community infrastructure across the three territories.
In addition, an investment of $1.7 million over two years (2009-2011) allowed for 19 recreational infrastructure projects across the three territories to improve community infrastructure, create short term jobs and support healthy communities.
The Government of Canada has made the North one of its top priorities. Through our Northern Strategy, we are working to ensure Canada’s North achieves its full potential as a healthy, prosperous region within a strong and sovereign Canada.
For a complete report of progress on Canada’s Northern Strategy and for information on the Government’s accomplishments in the North, please visit: www.northernstrategy.gc.ca, and www.actionplan.gc.ca/en/page/accomplishments-north