OPINION: NWT is rich in critical minerals, but its economy faces neglect and inadequacy – by Caroline Cochrane (Globe and Mail – July 27, 2023)


Caroline Cochrane is Premier of the Northwest Territories.

We stand at a critical juncture for the Northwest Territories. Throughout our history, the NWT has thrived on abundant mining activities, boasting a wealth of zinc, gold, diamonds and countless other valuable resources, including oil and gas. We are blessed with a land of immense potential, including being home to 23 of the 31 critical minerals essential for the green economy.

This should be cause for celebration, but instead, we are once again on the outside looking in. The race to supply allied economies with these vital minerals is under way, and unless Canada acts swiftly to invest in transportation corridors, telecommunications infrastructure and cleaner, more affordable energy in the North, the NWT and our people risk being left behind.

Canada’s ambitious goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 presents an extraordinary opportunity for reconciliation and equitable access to affordable, reliable and secure energy sources from coast to coast to coast. However, if Canada truly wishes to realize this vision, it is time to look North and confront the glaring inadequacies in transportation, energy and communications infrastructure that plague our territory.

These deficiencies undermine our competitiveness in attracting investments while simultaneously hampering our ability to meet the needs of NWT residents, communities and businesses. The cost of living remains high, we are reliant on air travel between communities and our resources need help to reach the market.

For the rest of this column: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-northwest-territories-economy-affordable-energy/