Minister Vandal announces funding to strengthen innovation in the North

News release

CanNor investment of nearly $2.4 million supports 4 projects across the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon

May 29, 2024 – Iqaluit, Nunavut – Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Key to Canada’s economy are businesses and organizations leading new innovation, driving economic growth, and finding better ways to serve their communities. Across the territories, Northern and Indigenous partners are building new economic paths through their creativity, collaboration and innovation.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor, announced a federal investment of up to $2,384,422, delivered by CanNor, towards four unique projects that will help businesses and organizations across the territories diversify, innovate and grow.

Project activities include infrastructure development that supports food security and solar power generation in the Northwest Territories, technological advances that strengthen fisheries in Nunavut, and research and strategic planning into a new renewable insulation sector in the Yukon.

The Government of Canada is ensuring important northern initiatives have the funding needed to innovate and grow so that the communities in which they operate benefit from their success. CanNor is an important partner in the territories through its full suite of regular economic development programs and positions the northern economy for stronger diversification and growth.


“The needs and challenges in the North vary greatly from other parts of Canada, including infrastructure, food security, and access to learning and economic opportunities. By investing in research and innovation we can strengthen local initiatives to continue building the technology and infrastructure they need, create new businesses ideas and models, support food security and food affordability, and build stronger fisheries.”

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

“Northerners are innovators and problem solvers. We are proud to continue partnering with Northern and Indigenous businesses and organizations to support innovative ideas and the development of projects that create training opportunities and good paying jobs. Building on community priorities, we help to create territorial economies that benefit all Northerners.”

Dr. Brendan Hanley, Member of Parliament for the Yukon

“This funding is supporting innovative regional community economic development. Northerners are benefiting from developing plans, building structures and creating opportunities that support training and skills development, better green infrastructure and technology and more robust economies.”

Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories

“With generous financial support from CanNor, the Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation - Hydroponic Garden project is set to launch this fall. This groundbreaking initiative will provide year-round fresh herbs and produce to our community, marking a significant step towards sustainable food security in the North. Additionally, it will offer valuable skills training and knowledge to community members, empowering them and fostering a deeper connection to sustainable practices. This project also serves as a meaningful act of reconciliation, promoting collaboration, respect, and mutual benefit between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities as we work together towards a sustainable and prosperous future.”

Chief Kele Antoine, Łı́ı́dlı̨ı̨ Kų́ę́ First Nation

“The Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation firmly believes that a thriving economy needs strategic investments and collaborative partnerships to build a sustainable future. This project will contribute to our renewable energy capacity and will also serve as an exemplary model of sustainable development for the Northwest Territories and Canada as a whole.”

Paul Gruner, CEO of the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation

“Our agreement with the Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation to build a solar farm at the Colomac Gold Project further strengthens our partnership with the Tłı̨chǫ Nation. The agreement also demonstrates our commitment to long-term sustainable practices and safeguarding the ecosystem at Colomac. The solar farm will supply most of our camp’s power requirements, while significantly reducing operating costs and fuel emissions.”

Keyvan Salehi, President and CEO of STLLR Gold

“There is increasing recognition of the importance of using renewable building materials, such as wood-based insulation. Fortitude Consulting is looking forward to making a valuable contribution in this space.”  

Finella Pescott, Fortitude Consulting

“This support provides CSFL and the local and broader communities with an incredible opportunity to collect and analyze valuable information about our Arctic Char stock. As a responsible fisheries vested in sustainable harvest, we sought this support to ensure our business operations were maximizing the growth of the local economy while ensuring the maintenance of a healthy fish stock. We also look forward to the training and employment opportunities this project will render, as well as the crucial and concrete data that will help guide our inshore fisheries in the most beneficial ways possible.”  

Brittany MacLellan, Executive Manager, Cumberland Sound Fisheries Ltd.

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through CanNor’s suite of regular economic development programming, including the Inclusive Diversification and Economic Advancement in the North (IDEANorth) program and the Northern Indigenous Economic Opportunities Program (NIEOP).

    • IDEANorth makes foundational investments in economic infrastructure, sector development and capacity building to help position Northerners in the territories to take advantage of Canada’s innovation economy.
    • NIEOP supports greater participation by northern Inuit, First Nations and Métis communities and businesses and enables them to pursue opportunities for employment, income, and wealth creation. NIEOP is made up of three program streams:
  • CanNor’s economic development programming supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

Associated links


Carson Debert
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs, PrairiesCan and CanNor

Barbara Abramchuk
Communications Advisor
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)

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