Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

January 25, 2011 16:30 ET

CanNor Invests in Jobs and Safety Through FireSmart

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2011) - Northwest Territories communities prone to wildland fire will benefit from improved public safety and new employment opportunities, thanks to continued investments by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), announced today a new investment of $950,000 in 2010-2011 that will enable 12 NWT communities to participate in FireSmart program activities. The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) will contribute an additional $68,000 for a total project value of more than $1 million. This builds on a CanNor investment of $1.2 million in 2009 that allowed 14 NWT communities to participate in the program.

"The twelve communities participating in FireSmart this year will benefit directly from the creation of jobs, reduction in exposure to wildland fire risk, and preservation of valuable forest resources," said Minister Duncan, who is also Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians.

"The FireSmart program is an important initiative that provides valuable work experience and skills for Northerners while making their communities safer places," said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Minister Responsible for the North, and Minister of Health.

"We are actively working with communities to develop Community Wildland Protection Plans to identify and mitigate wildfire risks within communities, in the wildland urban interface, and the landscape beyond the communities", said the Honourable J. Michael Miltenberger, Northwest Territories Minister of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) "Work is ongoing to advance risk mitigation and fuel management in and around NWT communities."

The Northwest Territories' Department of Environment and Natural Resources will coordinate and oversee the wildland fire prevention planning and activities carried out by each community. Community Wildland Fire Protection Plans are being developed with communities to guide long term wildfire prevention, and forest fuel modification activities such as brush cutting, tree spacing, and tree removal. This year's activities are expected to provide local employment for 94 community members.

CanNor's investment in this project is made possible through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF), as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The fund will provide $32.8 million to all three territories from 2009 through 2011. 

CAF is one of several of economic development programs within CanNor. CanNor is responsible for coordinating and delivering Canada's economic development activities in the territories, and for related policy development, research and advocacy.

For copies of CanNor news releases, visit:

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit and for more information on Canada's Northern Strategy, visit

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
    Petra White
    Communications Advisor. NT Region