CANADIAN PRESS: Two federal announcements this week are expected to kick-start a long-awaited road into the heart of the Canadian Arctic that would lower grocery costs for northern families and unlock billions of dollars in mineral resources.
Transport Minister Marc Garneau pledged more than $50-million to cover preliminary studies and planning for an all-weather road from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to a deep-water port on Nunavut’s central Arctic coast.
“This will change the economy of Canada,” Wally Schumann, the NWT’s minister of industry, tourism and investment, said Thursday. A direct, all-weather connection to southern Canada’s highways – Nunavut’s first – would allow everything from fresh vegetables to construction materials to be shipped more cheaply and easily by trucks.
“It’s very important for our region,” said Stanley Anablak, head of the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, which has been lobbying for the port and northern road for years.
Mr. Anablak said many of the supplies his Nunavut communities need, including groceries, are flown in, which results in higher bills. Others are shipped from ports thousands of kilometres away on barges that arrive once a year.
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