Government of Canada launches second call for proposals for Arctic and Northern transportation infrastructure projects under the National Trade Corridors Fund

News release

October 23, 2020            Ottawa, Ontario            Transport Canada

The quality of Canada’s transportation infrastructure and the efficiency of the country’s trade corridors are key to the success of Canadian companies in the global marketplace and vital for connecting communities. The Government of Canada is committed to serving Canadians through the ongoing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting and stimulating Canada’s economy.

The National Trade Corridors Fund is one component of the $180-billion Investing in Canada Plan, the Government of Canada’s strategy for addressing long-term infrastructure needs and supporting middle-class growth and well-paying jobs. The National Trade Corridors Fund is investing $2.3 billion over 11 years to strengthen the efficiency and resilience of Canada’s transportation infrastructure, including $800 million in dedicated funding for Arctic and northern regions.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau, announced a call for proposals under the National Trade Corridors Fund for projects to address transportation challenges in Canada’s Arctic and northern regions.

Enhancing Arctic and northern transportation is essential to prosperity in these regions. This call for proposals encourages eligible applicants to submit transportation infrastructure proposals that support long-term social benefits and economic development, while also considering the impacts of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Examples of project goals could include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing the efficiency and reach of core public services, and reducing transportation and related (e.g. food, construction material) costs for Northerners;
  • Addressing known safety vulnerabilities, including those due to natural hazards, in Canada's Arctic and northern regions;
  • Connecting multiple communities and development sites to markets, or strengthen existing connections, including by providing transportation options and redundancies; and
  • Providing innovative transportation solutions to improve the efficiency, reliability or safety of the transportation system in a northern environment.

Territorial, provincial and municipal governments, Indigenous groups, not-for-profit and for-profit private sector organizations, academic institutions and federal Crown corporations are all eligible and encouraged to submit expressions of interest until December 21, 2020. Comprehensive project proposals are due no later than March 15, 2021.


“Efficient and reliable transportation networks are key to Canada’s economic prosperity. Enhancing Arctic and northern transportation will support trade diversification and social development and ensure greater connectivity for Northerners. I encourage eligible transportation infrastructure owners, operators and users to apply for funding under the National Trade Corridors Fund. Through this call for proposals, we are helping to address the unique and urgent transportation infrastructure needs in Canada's Arctic and Northern regions.”

 The Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport

“With today’s call for proposals our government is working to address long-term infrastructure needs in Canada’s North and Arctic. Transportation is a lifeline for Northern communities and essential for economic development projects in Canada’s Arctic. Transportation infrastructure remains limited, presenting challenges that do not exist for many other Canadian communities. The National Trade Corridors Fund will help enhance this infrastructure, making it easier, more efficient, and less expensive to move passengers and commercial goods in and out of Northern communities. I encourage all those who are eligible to submit proposals to Transport Canada.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs

“The call for proposals announced today will help enhance the Northern transportation system as well support and promote economic growth, supply chain fluidity, trade diversification and social development during these trying times in our country. These investments will make our infrastructure more resilient, and improve transportation safety and reliability.”

Larry Bagnell
Member of Parliament for Yukon

“Through the challenge of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our government is continuing to invest in much needed transportation infrastructure in the North such as ports, airports, all-season roads and bridges. This is why we increased dedicated funding for projects in the Arctic and Northern regions by $400 million for a total of $800 million.”

Michael McLeod
Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • Transportation is a lifeline for northern communities and economic development projects, but infrastructure development is more costly in Arctic and northern regions than in southern Canada for reasons that include a severe climate; difficult terrain; vast distances; limited access to materials and expertise; and a much shorter construction season. 

  • The National Trade Corridors Fund (NTCF) program was created in 2017, with a goal to invest $1.9 billion in transportation infrastructure projects that support trade, resilience to climate change and innovation, as well as projects that address the unique and urgent transportation needs in Canada’s Arctic and northern regions. Budget 2019 announced an additional $400 million allocation over 8 years for transportation infrastructure projects in Canada’s Arctic and northern regions, increasing the total NTCF allocation to $2.3 billion for investments across the country. 

  • Through the three NTCF calls for proposals to date (Two trade diversification and one Northern call), the Minister of Transport approved 85 projects, including 15 projects that are receiving over $379 million in federal funding, leveraging total investments of $528 million to address unique transportation priorities in Canada’s territories. 

  • The Arctic and Northern Policy Framework (ANPF) is led by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. The geographic scope of this Arctic and Northern call for proposals aligns with the ANPF, and includes the territories; the northern extent of Labrador containing the Nunatsiavut region; the Nunavik region in Quebec; and the Port of Churchill and related assets in northern Manitoba. This framework establishes collaborative priorities and actions for federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners to realize a new, shared vision for Canada’s North.  

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Livia Belcea
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Marc Garneau
Minister of Transport, Ottawa


Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa


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