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Federal and N.W.T. gov'ts pledge millions for roads, cultural sites, research

In two separate funding announcements Tuesday, the federal and territorial governments announced millions of dollars in funding for several infrastructure projects across the territory.

Over $31M invested by federal gov't in roads, cultural infrastructure, waste upgrades

N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod makes a funding announcement earlier this month at the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife. On Tuesday, McLeod announced over $31 million in federal funding for 19 infrastructure projects across the territory. (Katie Toth/CBC)

In two separate funding announcements Tuesday, the federal and territorial governments announced millions of dollars in funding for roads, cultural projects, and research across the N.W.T.

The most substantive announcement, from the federal government, announced more than $45 million in funding for 19 infrastructure projects.

Over $31 million in funding will come from the government of Canada, with $14.2 million coming from local Indigenous governments and the government of the Northwest Territories.

The projects announced include new cultural camps in Whatì and Gamètì, a new multi-purpose building used for cultural programming in Inuvik, and upgrades to an existing camp in Wekweètì. Upgrades will also be made to the Ehdaa Historical Site in Fort Simpson and Behchoko's Ko Gocho Centre.

Fort Simpson will receive upgrades to its trail system, and several communities, including Yellowknife, Hay River, Inuvik, Aklavik, Paulatuk, Colville Lake, Fort Good Hope, Norman Wells, and Tulita, are slated for upgrades to their wastewater and solid waste infrastructure.

Several million dollars were also announced for road projects in Norman Wells, Tuktoyaktuk, Fort Simpson, Hay River, and Yellowknife.

In the news release announcing the funding, N.W.T. MP Michael Mcleod said the investments are an "excellent example of what can be done when all levels of government work together to build stronger, more self-sustaining communities."

The timelines for each project were not included in an attached background document, nor was there any information on if the funding would remain if the current Liberal government is defeated in the upcoming federal election, which is slated for October. 

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Over $400K for new research projects

In a separate announcement Tuesday, the N.W.T. government announced $407,000 in funding for seven new multi-year environmental monitoring and research projects.

The investments were made through the government's Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program, which funds projects that aim to provide scientific and traditional knowledge for resource managers, governments, and communities, according to a news release. 

The projects include:

  • A traditional knowledge study on fish in the Acho Dene Koe First Nation's traditional territory near Fort Liard, led by the First Nation.
  • A Dalhousie University-led project looking at the fate of heavy metals in sewage disposal facilities, and their impacts on aquatic systems downstream.
  • A study led by the territorial government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources aimed to identify factors that influence the health of female boreal caribou.
  • A federal government-led monitoring project focused on lake trout in Great Slave Lake.
  • A study assessing how barren-ground caribou respond to industrial infrastructure, headed by the University of Northern British Columbia.
  • A University of Saskatchewan project examining nutrients and contaminants in the Slave River Delta's wetlands.
  • A project that aims to develop a biological monitoring program to help detect change in stream health along the Dempster-Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Corridor, led by Wilfrid Laurier University.

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