VANCOUVER, B.C. — The Northwest Territories government has released a report renewing calls for the construction of the Mackenzie Valley Highway which would link Southern Canada with the Far North.
The project would cost about $700 million but part of the cost could be recouped through tolls and fees on oil and gas development, the report said. The highway would allow easier access to the North’s vast energy and mineral resources.
The proposed all-weather road would link the NWT’s existing road network with the Arctic port of Tuktoyaktuk.
“The political and economic difficulties that impeded the completion of the Mackenzie Valley Highway over three decades ago have improved,” Premier Joseph Handley and Transportation Minister Michael McLeod said while introducing the report.
The permanent road would replace the ice roads in use today.
“The existing limited transportation window makes development and exploration activities expensive and inefficient,” the report reads. It also says “A highway to the Arctic would help assert Canadian sovereignty over Canadian Arctic waterways as shipping routes become increasingly accessible.”
– With files from Reuters
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