Panelists at Nunavut Mining Symposium want link to Canada’s road system – by Jane George (Nunatsiaq News – April 2, 2019)

Governments of NWT and Nunavut and Inuit orgs united in call for North-South road connection

At the Nunavut Mining Symposium, now underway in Iqaluit, you don’t have to look far to find supporters of a road linking Nunavut to the Northwest Territories or Manitoba, to reduce the North’s dependence on marine transportation and satellite telecommunications.

At a Monday morning panel session called, “Maybe the resources are the road?,” the Northwest Territories’ industry minister, Wally Schumann, Nunavut’s transportation minister, David Akeeagok, and Kitikmeot Inuit Association President Stanley Anablak all made pitches for roads and how the federal government should come up with money to help make that happen.

Anablak, a promoter of the Grays Bay port and road project, which would aim to join the Arctic coast to mines in the western Kitikmeot and eventually the N.W.T., said that proposed project in western Nunavut finally has regained Nunavut government support.

To highlight the need for the Grays Bay port and road, Anablak referred to the failure of the GNWT-owned Marine Transportation Services barge to bring in needed supplies to western Nunavut in October 2018, as an example of the costly uncertainty of marine transportation.

After the panel, Schumann talked about the continuing anger over the barge-load of orders that didn’t make it to Kugluktuk and Cambridge Bay after MTS cancelled the barge.

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