NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy connects businesses and communities to economic opportunities

Oct 29 2013

YELLOWKNIFE (October 29) – A new Northwest Territories (NWT) Economic Opportunities Strategy sets out a plan to connect NWT businesses and communities with economic opportunities by fostering a climate for growth, building on success in key sectors, investing in regional diversification and promoting opportunity readiness for people and businesses.

The Governance Committee presented the Strategy to Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, and Minister for the Arctic Council.

“The Northwest Territories is evolving, and so is our economy,” Minister Ramsay noted. “Increasing growth, diversity and certainty in other sectors of our economy outside of our rich natural resources sector is imperative and the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy has been developed to do just this.”

“I am pleased to receive the NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy which outlines a plan to ensure that businesses and communities maximize the tremendous economic opportunities that exist in the territory,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “I look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with our partners to advance a strong and diversified economy.”

The NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy was prepared by a Governance Committee representing the NWT’s primary economic stakeholders: the NWT Chamber of Commerce, the Northern Aboriginal Business Association (NABA), the NWT Association of Communities (NWTAC), the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and the Government of the Northwest Territories  Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

The Strategy includes targets and objectives that position the 117 actions that it recommends be initiated over the next 10 years.

“Resource development is the backbone of our economy, but small and medium-sized business are its heartbeat,” says Hughie Graham, Past President of the NWT Chamber of Commerce and Member of the EOS Governance Committee. “The Economic Opportunities Strategy casts a spotlight on opportunities to diversify and strengthen regional economies which will provide jobs and prosperity to people and businesses at the local level.  That’s why it is so important to the NWT Chamber of Commerce.”

“In recognizing the growing economy, the participation of northern businesses and the benefits that the NWT’s growing economic independence will bring all residents, the Economic Opportunity Strategy underscores the importance of the NWT’s growing Aboriginal Business community,” says, Darrell Beaulieu, Chair of the Northern Aboriginal Business Association. “Aboriginal companies are not only engaging and participating in all sectors of the NWT economy, they are now a part of guiding its growth and development.”

“Thanks to the effective engagement of NWT communities, this Strategy is firmly grounded in the grass-roots of our Territory’s economy,” says President of the NWT Association of Communities Merven Gruben. “The NWTAC is pleased to have been involved in such a collaborative process, from consultations with our communities early in the process to continued involvement and engagement in the implementation as we move forward.”

Work by the Governance Committee to prepare the Economic Opportunities Strategy began in May of this year guided by the findings of an independent Advisory Panel that engaged with NWT residents, business representatives, organizations and governments to get a full understanding of issues, challenges and opportunities related to resource development and regional diversification in the NWT.

The last NWT Economic Strategy “Common Ground” was released in 2000.

For more information: 

Drew Williams
Manager, Communications and Engagement
NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy
Tel:         (867) 873-7272
Cell:       (867) 445-3739
Email:    drew_williams@gov.nt.ca