Proposed 7,000-kilometre resource corridor would improve life in Canada’s North, researchers say – by Eric Atkins (Globe and Mail – May 27, 2016)

An ambitious proposal to build a 7,000-kilometre trade and infrastructure corridor in Canada’s North has taken a key step forward.

The Northern Corridor would link Canada’s people, goods and natural resources with overseas and southern markets, and boost sovereignty and development in vast swaths of the country that are economically isolated, concludes the first feasibility study of the concept. The idea was launched a year ago by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and Montreal’s Centre for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations.

Pipelines, railways, roads, electricity and transmission lines would share the right of way that extends from the Pacific to Atlantic oceans, the Beaufort Sea to the north, as well as Hudson Bay and the St. Lawrence Seaway, connecting to existing rails, roads, pipes and ports in the southern part of Canada.

“We think that it’s got incredible potential merit in lowering trade costs between provinces and lowering trade costs in getting some of these landlocked areas access to tidewater,” said G. Kent Fellows, a research associate at University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and a co-author of the feasibility study.

“Any time you decrease costs of trade you’re going to have improvements in overall social and economic welfare. The idea is not just to be able to get things to market from the North and near North, but also trying to get goods and services from Southern Canada and tidewater into those areas, too. Because trade has to go both ways.”

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