Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

November 30, 2009 17:44 ET

Government of Canada Funds Forest Projects to Make NWT Communities Safer

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - Nov. 30, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), today announced funding in the Northwest Territories to help fourteen communities reduce their exposure to high intensity wildfires.

"Through this important initiative, NWT communities will be safer and valuable forest resources will be protected," said Minister Strahl, who is also Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians. "This project will not just keep Northern communities and forest resources safe, it will also create much-needed jobs while building local skills and experience."

"This initiative is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when communities and governments work together to benefit Northern residents," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister Responsible for the North and Minister of Health.

Participating communities will produce Community Wildland Fire Protection Plans and engage in forest fuel reduction, including brush-cutting and tree removal, which will employ approximately 100 people through March 2010. Longer-term economic and ecological benefits are also expected to result from reduced fire risk to the community and to the forest itself.

Federal funding of $1.2 million for this initiative will cover approximately 97% of total project costs. The Government of the Northwest Territories' (GNWT) Department of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) will contribute an additional $40,000 to improve community capacity for implementation including the development of four Community Wildland Fire Protection Plans.

"The development of Community Wildland Fire Protection Plans will make better use of our existing fire suppression resources, and provide the tools necessary to ensure the sustainable management of our forest resources", said GNWT Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Michael Miltenberger. "I am pleased to see funding go towards this important initiative."

Funding for this project is being provided under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF), a two-year economic stimulus program established under Canada's Economic Action Plan. The CAF is $1 billion national program that provides economic stimulus by supporting near-term job creation in communities impacted by the global recession; longer-term economic and ecological benefits are also considered. The fund will provide $32.8 million to the three territories from 2009 through 2011.

The CAF is one of a suite of economic development programs that fall under the mandate of CanNor in the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut. CanNor is responsible for coordinating and delivering federal economic development activities in the territories, and for policy, research and advocacy. Promoting social and economic development in the North is one of the four pillars of the Government of Canada's integrated Northern Strategy.

For copies of CanNor news releases, visit: http://www.north.gc.ca/index-eng.asp

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca and for more information on Canada's Northern Strategy, visit www.northernstrategy.ca/index-eng.asp

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Michelle Yao
    Press Secretary
    819-997-0002
    or
    Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor),
    NWT Region
    Petra White
    Communications Advisor
    867-669-2580