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February 6, 2013

Highway project in Inuvik gets Environmental Impact Review Board's approval

An Environmental Impact Review Board (EIRB) report supports approval, with conditions, for the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Highway project.

“The completed report is a crucial milestone for this project,” said Northwest Territories minister of transportation David Ramsay in a news release. “We can now move forward with greater certainty to make this project a reality.”

The report has been submitted to the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada. The Government of Northwest Territories (GNWT) is reviewing the report.

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.

In the 2011 budget, the federal government promised to contribute $150 million over five years towards the 140-kilometre all-season road between Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk, creating year-round access to the Arctic coast. Funding began in the 2012-13 fiscal year. Other partners include GNWT, the private sector, the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation and local communities.

Jobs and economic activity from the construction of the highway are a priority for Inuvik Mayor Floyd Roland.

“We have numerous trained people in our region who are ready to be put to work on this highway,” he said in a news release. The project is expected to support sustainable development in the region, including oil and gas and other resource development.

Construction is expected to begin in 2013.

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