Government of Canada supports clean energy feasibility study

News Release

CanNor helps the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation assess natural gas potential to secure regional energy source.

August 31, 2017 – Inuvik, NT – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for CanNor announced an investment of $467,200 to support a feasibility study to assess the potential for natural gas development in the Beaufort Delta region of the Northwest Territories.

The Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) is leading this project. This Indigenous-owned corporation seeks to lower living costs for local residents and businesses by securing a regional energy source to replace diesel. Should natural gas extraction be viable, the development of this resource could provide clean energy security, employment opportunities, and support a sustainable economic future in the Inuvialuit region.  

Until recently, the Town of Inuvik received energy from two natural gas wells in the area; however, due to recent signs of depletion, the town now depends on diesel and propane from southern Canada, more than 2,500 km away. The opening of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk all-season highway this autumn will provide access to the Inuvialuit-owned land with natural gas potential.


“Clean energy study offers the potential of reducing dependency on diesel fuel. Natural gas projects lead to energy security, healthier communities, and a cleaner environment. Our government will continue to invest in clean energy projects that foster better jobs and improve living standards for Northerners.”

Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and
Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“Communities in the Northwest Territories rely on imported diesel. The Government of Canada’s investment in the natural gas feasibility study in the Beaufort Delta region demonstrates the government’s commitment to fostering clean energy growth and sustainable northern economic diversification.  I look forward to seeing the work of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation upon completion of this project.”

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories

“Inuvialuit are committed to working with our territorial and federal counterparts to unlock the potential of our region. This feasibility study will improve our collective ability to take advantage of the cleaner energy that lies right beneath our feet.”

Duane Ningaqsiq Smith
Chair and CEO, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation

Quick Facts

  • CanNor’s investment is from the Northern Aboriginal Economic Opportunities Program. This program aims to increase the participation of Northern Aboriginal communities and businesses in economic opportunities.

  • CanNor contributed $467,200 over two years. The Government of the Northwest Territories and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation each invested $58,400. The total project funding is $584,000.

  • The study will be conducted in two phases.
    - The first phase will assess resource viability, and develop a local energy supply and distribution model with the focus on Aklavik, Fort McPherson, Inuvik, Tsiigehtchic and Tuktoyaktuk.
    - The second phase will explore a regional model including Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour and Ulukhaktok.


Office of the Honourable Navdeep Bains
Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Rebecca McDonald
Communications Advisor, Northwest Territories Region
For more information about CanNor, visit

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Taylor Giffin
Communications Coordinator

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