Good afternoon, and welcome to the opening ceremonies of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk highway. I would like to say thank you to her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Minister Amarjeet Sohi and Minister Carolyn Bennett for joining us in this celebration.
I am pleased to be here today to celebrate the opening of this engineering marvel, which is the result of active participation and cooperation with the Government of Canada, the communities, and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation.
Partnership and cooperation are a way of life in the North and are vital to our plans to create a strong and prosperous Northwest Territories. Mutual respect, recognition, participation and cooperation can lead the way to more opportunities for the North to participate in Canada’s growing economy; today you see the evidence of Northerners getting together and making their voices heard in Ottawa.
Northerners want better transportation connections and we have to continue to join together to make our case so this territory is positioned to take full advantage of the potential we have here.
The North is Canada’s future; our wealth of natural resources here in the Northwest Territories can create prosperity and economic opportunities for our residents and all Canadians.
A northern transportation corridor that connects Canada by road from sea to sea to sea and gives us access to tidewater on the Arctic Ocean is a concrete step towards a prosperous future for all of us.
This project is an investment in the future of this territory and this country. Connecting the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk to the all-season highway system will provide economic opportunities, and residents will benefit from lower costs of living, increased tourism, and improved access to health care and education.
This highway will benefit Tuktoyaktuk and the north for years to come.
Today is the day we celebrate the paving of a path to a bright future with opportunities for all Canadians.
I would now like to invite Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, to say a few words.