Wally Schumann: Statement from Minister Garneau's Yellowknife Announcement

Check Against Delivery

I would like to thank Minister Garneau for being here today to see first-hand the infrastructure challenges we face in the North.

Infrastructure investment is critical to the development of our territory, and we look forward to accessing the various funding opportunities available to us.

Expanding our transportation system will help us connect residents to new social and employment opportunities, reduce the cost of living in the territory, increase our resiliency and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and provide better access to natural resources.

Small jurisdictions like the NWT are still playing catch-up and require basic highway infrastructure to connect our communities and provide opportunities for economic growth.

We believe that the NWT has significant untapped economic potential that can benefit all Canadians and the key to unlocking these valuable resources starts with efficient and effective transportation access.

Creating the North our people want and need means working together with many partners – Canada, Indigenous governments, community governments, business and industry – to create and implement a clear plan for investing in our people in the long term.

We have an opportunity to make sure Northerners get the kind of middle class jobs and salaries that southerners enjoy by investing in sustainable communities and a strong Northern economy.

Our government has a vision of connecting Northerners to opportunities. Our 25-year transportation strategy set three key objectives for achieving this vision: Strengthening Connections by continuing to improve the existing transportation system, Capturing Opportunities by expanding the transportation system, and Embracing Innovation to improve delivery of transportation services, including increasing our resiliency to challenges such as climate change.

For this to happen, significant and meaningful investment in infrastructure is needed. We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal government to advance projects that will have long-lasting impact on Northerners and all Canadians, and help the GNWT advance priorities related to energy and marine infrastructure.

Together, we can transform the North in a way that will create huge social and economic benefits for its people and that all Canadians can be proud of by investing in its people, its economy and its infrastructure.

Thank you.