Bob McLeod: Mackenzie Valley Highway Federal Funding Announcement - Opening Remarks

June 27, 2018
Ministers' Statements and Speeches

Delivered on June 27, 2018

Check Against Delivery

Good morning.

Looking around the Great Hall this morning I am pleased to see so many familiar faces.

I would like to recognize my colleague Minister Wally Schumann, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett, MP Michael McLeod, and of course the many representatives from our communities in the Sahtu and Chief Moses from Wrigley.

But there is one face who should be here who isn’t. So before I begin, I would like to introduce a special guest to today’s event.

Cece Hodgson-McCauley was a tireless and vocal advocate for connecting the people of the North to one another and to the rest of Canada through the realization of an all-weather road project.

She saw the transformative power of a Mackenzie Valley Highway system for the people of the Sahtu region, and for all residents of the Northwest Territories.

Today’s funding announcement matters because it demonstrates that we can turn the vision that we have for the future of the Northwest Territories – one of economic prosperity and opportunity for all of our residents – into reality by working together.

The funding we are announcing will help us advance projects that our communities, residents and businesses have been promoting for years, and allows for important planning work to continue to move the Mackenzie Valley Highway project forward.

Now is the time for these infrastructure investments in the Northwest Territories.

It is these kinds of investments in the economy of the NWT that will help us tap into the opportunities that will bring good paying middle class jobs to our residents in every community.

These are the projects that allow existing industries to plan for a future in the Northwest Territories, and allow new sectors of our economy, like tourism, to have a real chance to contribute to the wealth and wellbeing of our residents.

Through its commitment to energy and transportations projects, the Government of Canada has shown that they are listening to Northerners.

They understand that our residents deserve the economic opportunities and stable communities that all Canadians should enjoy, and I would like to thank them for their partnership.

I would also like to thank our Indigenous government partners who have helped us make the case for these projects. Sahtu MLA Danny McNeely also worked extremely hard with us to get this project funded, and I want to thank him as well. It is by working together that we can create new opportunities for all the residents of the Northwest Territories and grow a strong, prosperous territory.

Today’s announcement is a concrete example of what is possible when strong partnerships exist between the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories, and our Indigenous governments and organizations.

It marks a major milestone towards a long promised dream of a highway through the Northwest Territories, and is proof that the dreams of our people – like Cece Hodgson-McCauley – are being heard, are being respected, and can be achieved.

Thank you.