Is this the right vision for the NWT’s economy? – by Ollie Williams (Cabin Radio – April 13, 2024)

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It’s been a big week for discussion of the Northwest Territories’ economy. It might be about 15 years overdue.

Economist Graeme Clinton, who lives in Yellowknife, started the week by telling city council an “economic cliff” is coming – and there seems to be no plan.

He was referring to the closure of the NWT’s three active diamond mines, which currently power thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. The first of the three to close will do so in just over 18 months’ time. Financially, diamond mining is the most important industry the territory has. There’s nothing on the radar that comes close to matching it for job creation and profit.

So what’s the territory going to do when the mines have gone? The NWT has known for a long time that the mines were slowly on the way out. Clinton says he has been exasperated by what he calls the neglect of previous governments.

How about the new government? What are the latest leaders doing? We asked industry minister Caitlin Cleveland to join us and discuss the vision she has for the territory’s economy – and how she plans to act on that vision.

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