WHATI, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwired - Jan. 11, 2017) - Today, Member of Parliament for the Northwest Territories, Michael McLeod, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Wally Schumann, Northwest Territories Minister of Transportation and the Honourable Robert C. McLeod, Northwest Territories Minister of Finance, along with Tlicho Grand Chief Eddie Erasmus, announced conditional approval of federal funding for the construction of the Tlicho All-Season Road.
The federal government will provide up to 25 per cent of eligible project costs through the P3 Canada Fund.
The procurement of the Tlicho All-Season Road through a Public-Private Partnership will start with the release of the Request for Qualifications in February 2017.
This project is currently undergoing an environmental assessment led by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. Confirmation that funding is now available will inform the environmental assessment process in terms of possible timing of construction.
The Tlicho All-Season Road will consist of approximately 97 kilometres of a new 2 lane road to the community of Whati, including four new bridges and one large arched culvert.
Currently served by a winter ice road, the Tlicho region has overland access to the Yellowknife region and southern Canada for only three months of the year. During the remaining months, food and supplies are flown in at significant costs, with resulting food prices often 50% higher than in Yellowknife.
The existing winter road is challenged each year by changing lake ice and overland section conditions, resulting from significant variations in winter air temperatures and snowfall. Given the effects of climate change, efforts to improve the winter road system have been a long standing priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories and the local communities.
"An economic catalyst, completion of the Tlicho All-Season Road, will significantly improve the lives of local residents. The all-weather road will provide Whatì residents with year round access to employment opportunities in the south, the ability to purchase goods and services at significantly cheaper rates and increase the attractiveness of the area for development."
Michael V. McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories
"Construction of the Tlicho All-Season Road will allow us to capture significant opportunities for NWT residents. Replacing the existing winter road to Whatì will reduce challenges associated with impacts of climate change, create new employment and training opportunities for residents, result in more reliable and efficient delivery of goods, and provide new opportunities to develop our territory's economic potential."
Wally Schumann, Minister of Transportation for the Northwest Territories
"Today's milestone represents the commitment between Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories to partner in making strategic infrastructure investments that connect communities, increase our resiliency to climate change, and support economic development opportunities that benefit Northerners and all Canadians."
Robert C. McLeod, Minister of Finance for the Northwest Territories
"Tlicho communities and Tlicho Citizens will see tremendous benefits from the development of key infrastructure in our region. Together our governments can bring about real change in the quality of life of our community members, bringing our standard and costs of living closer to that of NWT centres. Developing and moving forward on the Tlicho All-Season Road has been a true partnership between our governments and we look forward to this collaboration continuing as we move towards regulatory approvals and construction. Tlicho people are ready to be a part of the construction of this project, and the realization of its benefits. "
Eddie Erasmus, Tlicho Grand Chief
- The Department of Transportation has been working in partnership with the Tlicho Government since 2012 to advance the Tlicho all-season road project.
- In addition to providing uninterrupted access to the community of Whatì, the Tlicho all-season road will greatly increase the window of winter road access to the communities of Gameti and Wekweeti.
- The Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board will provide a recommendation on the project based on the environmental assessment. This is a common requirement for large infrastructure projects and will ensure that if the project is approved, it will be undertaken in an environmentally, socially and culturally sound manner.
- As the procurement for this project will be undertaken through a competitive process, the anticipated costs for the project will not be publically available until a contract is in place for the project.
- GNWT funding is subject to approval by the Legislative Assembly. The P3 Canada funding is contingent on a formal commitment from the GNWT that territorial funding is available and committed to the project.
Web: Infrastructure Canada