Support from northerners like you keeps our journalism alive. Sign up here.



NWT’s 2023 capital spend expected to be highest since 2016

Construction equipment outside the Chateau Nova hotel in Yellowknife. Emily Blake/Cabin Radio

Public and private capital spending in the Northwest Territories this year is forecast to reach its highest since 2016, the NWT Bureau of Statistics says.

A national survey suggests intended spending in 2023 on the likes of construction and infrastructure in the NWT equates to a 7.7 percent increase on 2022, reaching just under $950 million.

Most of that comes in the form of public spending – projects led by the likes of federal, territorial and community governments – which is increasing to levels not seen in the territory’s recent history.

“Public investment increased to over $600 million in 2022 and is expected to increase again in 2023,” the NWT Bureau of Statistics stated.



A nine-percent jump in public spending “can in part be attributed to the construction of a new swimming pool in Yellowknife and increased construction activity at the Giant Mine remediation project,” the bureau added in a press release.

However, private investment is also expected to increase slightly – by around three percent year-on-year – having dropped from more than $1 billion annually to just over $200 million since the Gahcho Kué diamond mine’s construction finished in 2015.

In the years leading up to the Covid-19 pandemic, most capital spending in the NWT came from private sources according to the bureau’s data. Public spending has taken over as the primary source of investment since the pandemic.