The communities of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay will see new community harbours thanks to $76.5 million over seven years from the federal government.
Additionally, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) and the Nunavut Impact Review Board (NIRB) will share $600,000 for marine safety and environmental initiatives.
Federal Minister of Transport Marc Garneau made the announcement in Iqaluit this morning.
“These investments in community harbours in Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay signal an important step towards addressing the infrastructure inequality between Canada’s North and south. For these two High Arctic communities, like many Nunavut communities, the sea is a highway – the lifeline that connects us to the world,” said QIA president P.J. Akeeagok.
“These investments make it possible for Inuit in these communities to cast off boats without endangering lives. They make it possible for us to lay the ground work for food sovereignty, and sustainable industries, such as fisheries.”
Minister of Economic Development and Transportation David Akeeagok also spoke of his appreciation for the federal government’s commitment to Nunavut’s marine transportation infrastructure.
“This funding will make substantial improvements to the economy and people of Grise Fiord and Resolute Bay. The Government of Nunavut looks forward to working with the Qikiqtani Inuit Association and the Government of Canada to advance these projects and foster the sustainability of the High Arctic,” he said.
That federal investment is part of the $190 million in infrastructure funding by the Government of Canada for communities in the Tallurutiup Imanga area.
Transport Canada will work with the Government of Nunavut and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association to design the community harbours, according to the news release.
“Collaboration is a cornerstone of the Oceans Protection Plan and this relationship is another example of how the Government of Canada is working with Inuit and Indigenous partners and coastal communities to improve local marine infrastructure and security, create employment opportunities, and promote environmental stewardship,” Garneau stated.
Meanwhile, QIA will use its $300,000 for engagement activities on Ocean Protection Plan initiatives and to build capacity for ongoing participation in marine safety, while NIRB will use its $300,000 portion to participate in Canada’s marine safety system and to improve the capacity of the Nunavut Marine Council to be an active voice on marine issues for Nunavummiut.