Should alarm bells be louder for the NWT’s post-diamonds future? – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 8, 2024)

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“The idea is not to be alarmist, but we also have to face some facts.” The Northwest Territories is about to start losing the diamond mines that drive a huge chunk of its employment and revenue. Yellowknife economist Graeme Clinton doesn’t think the territory and its residents necessarily understand that yet.

“I’m not sure if people get it,” he told Cabin Radio. In an attempt to change that, he has produced a paper – backed by the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, the mining industry body for the North – and will present some findings to Yellowknife City Council on Monday.

The bottom line, he says, is we’re about to lose a lot of jobs and money without anything to replace them. And when he says people don’t get it, Clinton adds that he realizes you know this is coming. You’ve heard the diamond mines are getting ready to close. You understand there will be consequences.

“I don’t think anybody is ignorant to the fact that the resource sector is an important part of our economy. But I don’t think they quite understand the scale of the effects,” he said. “In terms of what we lose? Just Yellowknife alone, over 1,300 jobs are tied either directly, indirectly, or through induced activities to the three major diamond mines.

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