EIRB Panel report favours Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway project

Jan 30 2013

INUVIK (January 30, 2013) — The Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB) has completed its review of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway and submitted its final report to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada.  The Government of Northwest Territories is reviewing the report, which supports approval of the project with conditions.

The board reviewed the project as a substituted environmental review process under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act in accordance with the Inuvialuit Final Agreement. The project is proposed by the Hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk, the Town of Inuvik, and the GNWT.

Premier Bob McLeod said the approval is an important step to realizing the benefits from an all-weather road to the Arctic coast. “Completing the Mackenzie Valley Highway from Wrigley to Tuktoyaktuk will benefit the whole territory and drive economic growth in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk,” he said. “In the long term, there will be benefits from increased tourism, oil and gas development, and a reduction in the cost of living.”

“The completed report is a crucial milestone for this project,” said David Ramsay, Minister of Transportation. “We can now move forward with greater certainty to make this project a reality.”

Tuktoyaktuk Mayor Mervin Gruben says the people of his community are very pleased with the board’s recommendation. “This has been a long time coming,” he said. “Let us help make Diefenbaker’s vision of a road to resources, combined with Prime Minister Harper’s goal of finishing the highway system from coast to coast to coast, a reality and get our people back to work in the real far north.”

Jobs and economic activity from the construction of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway are a priority for Inuvik Mayor Floyd Roland as well. “We have numerous trained people in our region who are ready to be put to work on this highway,” he said. “We look forward to proceeding with this important project.”

The all-weather road would link Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk and create year-round access to the Arctic coast.

The Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway is a key strategic investment in the NWT’s infrastructure by the 17th Legislative Assembly and supports the Assembly’s priority of strengthening and diversifying the Northwest Territories economy.

Contact information:

Earl Blacklock
Manager of Public Affairs & Communications
Department of Transportation
Government of the Northwest Territories
P.O. Box 1320, Yellowknife, NT, X1A 2L9
Phone: 867-445-3494 (cell)
Email:  earl_blacklock@gov.nt.ca