Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced a major investment of $71.7 million for four projects that will improve transportation safety and accessibility for Arctic and Northern communities.
“Transportation is a lifeline for Northern communities and for economic development in Canada’s Arctic. By finding ways to make our infrastructure more resilient, we are improving transportation safety and reliability,” Garneau said.
The projects are:
- $45.5 million to accommodate increased passenger volumes and support carrier operations by renovating the Rankin Inlet Airport Terminal Building. Two wings will be added to the existing terminal, increasing its capacity to more than four times its current size.
- $21.5 million to complete preparatory work necessary for the first phase of construction of the Grays Bay Road and Port Project. The proposed 230 kilometre all-season road would be the first road to connect Nunavut to the rest of Canada.
- $4.5 million to study and design an all-season road that will improve connectivity for the communities in the Kivalliq region that currently rely on air transportation. The 450 kilometre all‐weather road will enable economic and social opportunities by providing Kivalliq communities access to the benefits of jet service and cargo capacity of the Rankin Inlet Airport, and access to higher-frequency sealift operations.
- $195,000 to improve passenger safety, accessibility and quality of life for persons with disabilities by installing a passenger boarding ramp at airport terminals in seven Nunavut communities: Arviat, Whale Cove, Chesterfield Inlet, Baker Lake, Naujaat, Coral Harbour, and Sanikiluaq.
These investments, from the Government of Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund, are expected to create an estimated 200 jobs during pre-construction and construction.
Projects in the North receiving funding are supporting transportation infrastructure such as ports, airports, all-season roads and bridges and will enhance safety, security, and economic and social development in Canada’s three territories.
The projects are also addressing the unique and urgent transportation needs in Canada’s territorial North, such as access to markets, economic opportunities, communities and essential services despite difficult terrain and severe climate conditions and the high cost of construction along Canada’s northern trade corridors.
All-season highways and winter ice roads in the North handle more than 1 million tonnes of freight traffic each year. Two of these projects will complete preparatory work necessary for construction of major new all-season roads that would connect communities and economic development sites in Nunavut.