Nunavut deputy minister dishes on what will drive northern economy – by Beth Brown (Nunatsiaq News – May 29, 2017)

Record public spending on infrastructure, along with a surge in mining and exploration, could cause as much economic growth as Nunavut saw in the late 1990s. That’s according to Sherri Rowe, deputy minister for the Department of Economic Development and Transportation for the Government of Nunavut.

“I believe we are at a very important time in the territory’s development,” Rowe said, over a breakfast of granola and pancakes at Iqaluit’s Hotel Arctic. Rowe, who has been a bureaucrat and in business for 25 years, was the second speaker featured in a breakfast series hosted by the Iqaluit Chamber of Commerce, May 25.

She talked about ongoing development projects in Nunavut, from mining and tourism to airport and marine infrastructure. “Nunavut has a consumer market that didn’t exist two decades ago,” said Rowe—and Iqaluit is the centre of that opportunity.

“Nunavut’s economy is set to grow by almost five per cent in 2017,” she said. An expected doubling of mining projects over the next four years will create employment, and room for new business, or existing businesses, to expand, Rowe said.
She also touched on plans for a deep sea port and small craft harbor in Iqaluit which she said would bring sealift congestion away from the downtown core and resolve some safety concerns.

The chamber’s president, Matthew Clark, wanted to know if the Iqaluit International Airport terminal, due to open in August, would bring added expenses to businesses or users.

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