The Government of Canada announced funding totaling over $26 million for 10 projects across the territory that will improve recreational infrastructure and increase protection from wildfires.
“Through today’s announcement we are helping to build strong and thriving communities across the Northwest Territories. By investing in recreational and cultural infrastructure, we are ensuring that residents have access to greater opportunities to connect and practice their traditions and cultures. And through our investment to better mitigate the effects of wildfires, we are ensuring that infrastructure—like the projects we are announcing—and residents are better protected against natural disasters,” said Michael McLeod, MP for Northwest Territories.
“This funding contribution from the Government of Canada to improve wildfire resilience as well as invest in culture and recreation projects, represents collaboration from all levels of government as well as a shared commitment to protect and improve the quality of life for NWT residents. It represents the spirit of cooperation that is required to meet the needs of residents and strengthen communities,” said Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Minister of Lands, and Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs.
Part of the funding announced today will allow the Northwest Territories Association of Communities, in collaboration with the Government of the Northwest Territories, to work with small and remote communities to create fire breaks and implement fire fuel reduction strategies for over 1,200 hectares of land. Once complete, this work will lessen the risk of wildland fires across the territory and will offer tens of thousands of residents improved protection from the devastating impacts of wildfires, safeguarding their homes, businesses, livelihoods and the environment.
Additional funding will support nine recreational infrastructure projects across the territory, including funding for Nahanni Butte, which will support the development of a modern stage for live performances that will be equipped with performance instruments and sound boxes for stage shows and recreational activities. Once completed, this new cultural hub will allow community members to celebrate diversity and preserve their culture.
“This announcement is such great news for NWT communities. It is such an important demonstration of how by working together we can achieve so much more. The development work done by the Forestry Division of the GNWT with community governments to produce Community Wildfire Protection Plans was the needed background work to leave us ready to complete the application and now we all move forward in partnership to see all needed Wildfire Breaks constructed and the residents and assets of the NWT protected,” said Rebecca Alty, president of the Northwest Territories Association of Communities and Mayor of the City of Yellowknife.
The Government of Canada is investing over $24.5 million in these projects.
Featured image: (Dylan Clark/Canadian Climate Institute)