Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here today to celebrate a vision that began in the 1960’s and has become a reality today. I want to thank Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette and Federal Ministers Amarjeet Sohi and Carolyn Bennett for joining us in this celebration.
This is an important day for the Northwest Territories and Canada. Today marks the opening of the first highway to connect our nation by road from sea to sea to sea and creates a northern transportation corridor that makes access to tidewater on the Arctic Ocean a reality.
This project and the completion of it would not have been possible without the involvement of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation, the community governments, the Government of Canada, and all of those involved in advancing this from an idea to a reality. This is an example of Northerners getting together to make their voices heard in Ottawa.
The Government of the Northwest Territories has a vision of a strong, prosperous territory that provides opportunities and contributes to the national economy. Investing in infrastructure that supports economic development is a priority for our government. This highway is an example of that vision coming to fruition.
Partnership and cooperation is a way of life here in the North. The completion and opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway is a great example of what can be accomplished when we work together with our counterparts.
Over 1, 000 person years of employment went into this project, and I want to thank the dedicated crews who worked long days and dark nights to see this project through from beginning to end. This project is an example of the hard work and dedication Northerners have to making their territory a better place for future generations.
I would now like to invite Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, to say a few words.