YELLOWKNIFE (October 31, 2014) – The Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link took another positive step today with the announcement by Finance Minister J. Michael Miltenberger that the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the Gwich’in Tribal Council (GTC) have signed an agreement to allow for the construction and operation of the project on Gwich’in Settlement Lands.
The fibre link will provide state of the art communication infrastructure through the Mackenzie Valley; it will provide new opportunities for businesses, including in the e-commerce and high-tech sectors, and allow for the expansion of the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility, a leader in remote data sensing with international clients. The MVFL will also support more efficient and effective delivery of government services and programs such as tele-health and education to the communities it will connect.
“The signing of the agreement between the Government of the Northwest Territories and the Gwich’in Tribal Council demonstrates a committed working relationship,” said GTC Acting President Norman Snowshoe.
With the majority of the installation occurring within the existing right-of-way, the significant link for the project was connecting the section between Fort Good Hope and Inuvik. “Reaching an agreement with the Gwich’in Tribal Council is a major milestone in the development of the MVFL project,” said Minister Miltenberger. “This is a transformative project that will benefit the NWT for years to come. Reaching an agreement demonstrates that the Gwich’in share that vision.”
In July 2014 the GNWT selected Northern Lights Fibre Limited Partnership (Northern Lights) as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the MVFL. The GNWT and Northern Lights will continue to work closely with communities along the Mackenzie Valley to discuss project benefits and opportunities and with environmental regulatory authorities to ensure environmental requirements are met.
The GNWT planned in-service date of mid-2016 would see construction starting in early January 2015.
For more information:
Gwich’in Tribal Council
Department of Finance
Government of the Northwest Territories
Tel: (867) 873-7124