In the Northwest Territories, infrastructure that lags behind southern Canada is limiting the potential of the territory’s mining development and increasing its costs as well, said leaders of the N.W.T. government at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in Toronto on June 14.
Premier Caroline Cochrane and Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment Caroline Wawzonek told The Northern Miner in an interview that they want the federal government to step up and provide more support for the territory’s infrastructure needs.
While mining has historically been the economic bedrock of the N.W.T. and currently accounts for 21% of its GDP, just about half of its 33 communities are connected to all-season roads. This reality affects economic and social development.
“Things that people in the south take for granted — people can jump in the car and drive from one city to another city in a matter of hours — in the Northwest Territories we don’t have that luxury,” said Cochrane.