Feds commit another $3M to Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project 

‘This is infrastructure people in southern Canada take for granted anytime they turn on a light switch,’ says KIA president

The Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link would connect five Kivalliq communities — Arviat, Whale Cove, Rankin Inlet, Chesterfield Inlet and Baker Lake — to Manitoba’s electricity and fibre optic grids. (Image courtesy of Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link)

By Mélanie Ritchot

Nearly $3 million has been committed to advancing the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project, which would bring clean energy and high-speed internet to five Nunavut communities, Daniel Vandal, the minister of northern affairs, announced on Tuesday.

The proposed 1,200-kilometre fibre optic line would connect Nunavut to Manitoba’s power and fibre optic grids, bringing renewable electricity and broadband connectivity to Arviat, Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove.

“This is infrastructure people in southern Canada take for granted anytime they turn on a light switch or send an email,” Kono Tattuinee, the president of the Kivalliq Inuit Association, said at the virtual announcement.

“This project represents equality … we’re very pleased to see this important project explicitly mentioned in the federal budget,” he said.

The $2,993,762 million from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency will be used for research, including geomorphological, biophysical, heritage, and permafrost studies along the proposed route for the link.

It will also include traditional land use studies and engagement with First Nation communities in Manitoba and with Inuit in Nunavut.

Tattuinee said he feels confident the contractors hired for the studies will include Inuit in the work.

“Who better to know this country than our people … I’m sure it will be high on their priority list to ensure Inuit are taking part.”

The Kivalliq Inuit Association is contributing $752,934 to the project, according to a news release.

In 2019 CanNor spent $1.6 million to look into the feasibility of the project. This first research stage was successful and included design work, looking at potential impacts of the project and consulting with local organizations, the agency stated in a release.

The new funding is in addition to $40.4 million committed in the federal budget for hydroelectricity and grid interconnection project planning in the North, which the Kivalliq project could access, Vandal said. Money from this funding pool is to start flowing in 2021-22 and span over three years.

On top of providing more affordable electricity and faster internet to residents in the five Kivalliq communities, the hydro-fibre link will reduce fossil fuel use, Vandal said.

“The mining industry is expanding in the Kivalliq region, but it is currently dependent on diesel.”

“[The project] will improve the viability of future mining projects and encourage more exploration and development in the Kivalliq,” he said.

Tattuinee said Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. has been a strong supporter of the project.

“They recognize they must decarbonize their operations in Nunavut.”

Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson recommended the federal government invest in the hydro-fibre link project in his pre-budget submission to the federal government in February.

This project would be Nunavut’s first infrastructure link to southern Canada.

Share This Story

(12) Comments:

  1. Posted by The Old Trapper on

    “This is infrastructure people in southern Canada take for granted anytime they turn on a light switch or send an email.”
    About that email thingy, I live in Ottawa, 33 km (as the raven flies) from Parliament Hill and I don’t have fibre, and I can’t get fibre. Wireless options, yes. Fibre optics, no. Maybe later this year, maybe not.
    Just saying that if the federal government can’t even get the capital city of the country wired then you might not want to bet that the Kivalliq will get a fibre line from Manitoba.

    • Posted by Fibre on

      Canada has to be one of the most delayed countiesin regards to fibre and internet and cell services, most expensive too.
      Countries like Australia similar in population density and distances are light years ahead.
      Even Russia is light years ahead of Canada.
      Svalbard and Greenland has had fibre for over a decade.
      Scratching my head on this one, why is Canada so so far behind?

      • Posted by Glen Demmon on

        Canada’s problem it that, for some people, only exists in Ontario and Quebec. We only recently got connected to Fiber

  2. Posted by Uvanga on

    give that money for housing first. Of course these are to benefit the mines and they say the communities, never mind…. the communities need any kind of money brought into by the feds for housing, to make houses, so people can have homes to go to. Once the whole territory is caught up to residents having appropriate housing, then talk about these kinds of secondary things they bring into our communities!

    • Posted by what? on

      So why do the Feds have a responsibility to provide free housing for all? BTW they will never be caught up as you describe it, my goodness what a sense of entitlement.

      How about manageable family sizes? Education? and then a job? so people can have financial independence and rent or purchase a home like 99% of Canadians have to do.

      FYI, The mines provide huge benefits to the economy and make everybody connected to it in Nunavut less dependant on the Government, STOP BEING JEALOUS OF THE MINES, LOL

      The power and fibre line will also open new doors to expanding Nunavut’s economy.

      • Posted by Uvanga on

        Obviously you don’t know or see any of your community members that live in shacks at the beach or couch surfing. That 3 million can build at least a housing unit for a family. People who are put aside by people who refuse to see the homelessness in our communities that affects the whole being of a person is the entitled one. If a person doesn’t have a home to go to, their mental health, physical and emotional being is affected. So housing first, where they can feel secure then these secondary things for our communities.

        • Posted by Frank the Tank on

          But why should housing be given for free? Don’t you agree that people should need to go to work?

  3. Posted by Arviat guess on

    This is good new finally getting somewere on this.

  4. Posted by Sam on

    Faster internet ,land line ,saving 100 million dollars in fossil fuels, A year wow, are we actually moving forward, thanks Justin your green plan may work.

  5. Posted by Yup on

    Relying less on fossil fuels are a must, especially when you factor transport of that. secondary to that is the internet connectivity. freeing 95% of Inuit from NWTel or Qiniq with those crazy internet prices. savings all around within the first year. to think that the nunavut govt should of looked at this years ago knowing they can save literally 500 million within 10 years or more.

  6. Posted by Thomas Aggark on

    Inuit has higher power over other race in Canada. Be careful who they goose to work with.

    • Posted by Oh yea, wow on

      Yea for sure Thomas, Inuit are just way ahead of everyone on every measure, it’s a sight to see isn’t it?

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *