MP McLeod announces federal investments in Northwest Territories’ fishing industry

News release

CanNor is investing $1 million towards the Tu Cho Fisher's Cooperative Limited and their Winter Fishery Enhancement and Innovation Project

February 28, 2023 (Yellowknife, Northwest Territories) –– Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

Fishing on Great Slave Lake, the deepest lake in North America, is a key part of the Northwest Territories’ (NWT) economy, as the lake offers a variety and wealth of fish for commercial use, export, domestic consumption and fishing adventures. Supporting the Great Slave Lake commercial fishery, including the winter fishery, is a priority for the Government of Canada and will help diversify NWT’s economy and support the fishers who drive the sector’s success.

CanNor investments supports the wintery fishery in NWT

Today, Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories, on behalf of the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced a federal investment of $1 million, delivered by CanNor, to support a two-year project by the Tu Cho Fisher's Cooperative Limited (Tu Cho Fisher’s) to purchase equipment and train fishers for the winter fishery.

This project aims to improve the capacity of the winter fishery, create jobs in NWT’s Great Slave Lake commercial fishery and help maintain progress towards growing NWT’s fishing industry. CanNor’s support will mean a thriving industry and new jobs in all four seasons.

By strengthening a skilled Indigenous and Northern workforce and fostering sustainable growth in the freshwater fishery sector, the Government of Canada is working in partnership in growing the economy, creating jobs and opportunities, and supporting locally-led, innovative products across the Northwest Territories.


“With these federal investments, Northern and Indigenous fishers will gain valuable training and new equipment to support NWT’s winter fishery, strengthening the commercial fishing sector. Our government knows that the fishing industry provides good jobs, supports livelihoods and creates sustainable economic development across the Northwest Territories.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

“This investment in the winter fishery creates opportunities for workers, fosters strong community economic development in the region around Hay River and plays a role in the further development of NWT’s commercial fishery. Helping with skills development and providing the necessary equipment to fishers helps the NWT with its goal to grow and strengthen a vital industry.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament, Northwest Territories

“Thank you to CanNor for your support. We will never truly know the worth and value of this type of investment. Words can't really express our gratitude but know that families on shore will rest easier knowing that our fishers have safer equipment to use and more control over how our catch is valued and sold. Children who follow their fathers and other fishers will be safer while they learn and take their place as intergenerational fishers. Maybe you are unaware or never thought of the ripple effect from your investment, but we wanted you to know.”

 –  Jamie Linington, Interim General Manager, Tu Cho Fisher's Cooperative Limited

Quick facts

  •  CanNor is investing $1 million towards a two-year project led by the Tu Cho Fisher’s, a 100% Indigenous-fishing cooperative, with $950,000 in 2022-23 and $50,000 in 2023-24. The total cost of the project is $1 million.

  • This Winter Fishery Enhancement and Innovation Project in Hay River, Northwest Territories, will see the Cooperative acquire new equipment including utility vehicles, snow machines, and heated shelters to support operations while enhancing safety of fishers on Great Slave Lake.

  • Funding for this project comes from the Jobs and Growth Fund, which provides funding to businesses and organizations to help create jobs and position local economies for long-term growth. This project aligns well with the objectives of this fund by investing in infrastructure and equipment that will help develop new economic activities and support the development and growth of an Indigenous-led fishery in the Northwest Territories. This project supports the efforts of the Tu Cho Fisher’s and the Government of the Northwest Territories to revitalize the Great Slave Lake commercial fishery.

Associated links


Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

Barbara Abramchuk
Communications Advisor,
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CANNOR)

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