The Liberal government is committing more than $30 million to 19 infrastructure projects across the NWT, including cultural centres, roads, and essential services.
The announcement is the first of several this week according to advisories issued by the office of the NWT’s Liberal MP, Michael McLeod, with federal election season on the horizon.
On Tuesday, McLeod said $31.3 million in federal funding would be given to 19 community infrastructure projects. McLeod said none of the funding had been previously announced and it would be augmented by $14.2 million provided by municipalities and Indigenous governments.
Among the projects, Yellowknife’s sewage lagoon will expand with the help of $5.6 million in federal funding and $1.8 million from City Hall. That’s what it will cost to remove 226,000 cubic metres of sludge from the lagoon to create space.
In Hay River, $4.6 million from Ottawa will be spent on the development of a new wastewater lift station. The Town is contributing $1.5 million.
There is $1.8 million from the federal government to improving Inuvik’s landfill and $1.3 million for four Sahtu communities to divert recyclables.
Paulatuk and Norman Wells received $900,000 and $1.1 million respectively for stormwater drainage upgrades.
“The investment will go towards improved drainage, road stabilization, and road upgrade initiatives,” Minister of Municipal and Community Affairs Alfred Moses said.
This includes more than $5.6 million for rehabilitating three Hay River roads: Caribou and Beaver Crescent and Riverview Drive. That figure is matched by a $5.7-million investment from the Town.
Waste management projects in the Sahtu and Beaufort Delta also got an injection of federal dollars – two regional projects with plans to create space at landfills by diverting recyclables received over $1-million each.
Cultural spaces funded in the announcement include close to $1.2 million for a new space for the Nihtat Gwich’in Council, and more than $700,000 for improvements to the Gonaowo Hoghagoto Ko, a cultural camp in Wekweètì.
Behchokǫ̀’s Kǫ̀ Gocho community centre gets $600,000 in federal cash for upgrades, which will include developing a Tłı̨chǫ cultural museum and rock-climbing wall.
“Preservation of our culture is so important to teaching the next generation who we are,” McLeod said. “Having facilities available to host events and gatherings, as well as educate [people about] history, is a central part of creating inclusive, diverse, and respectful communities.”
Moses said this funding is an indication of how the GNWT is fulfilling the mandate of the 18th legislative assembly, which is now in its last sitting before October 1 elections. The mandate for the minister of MACA includes supporting local governments as they adapt to climate change.
Moses said this announcement was the ‘first round of community based projects’ and promised there will be more.