Nunavut premier forecasts double-digit economic growth in 2024
Akeeagok touts diversification in Nunavut Trade Show keynote speech
Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok is expecting major economic growth in the territory next year.
In a lunchtime speech at the Nunavut Trade Show Tuesday afternoon, Akeeagok told delegates the Nunavut economy is expected to grow by 13.6 per cent in 2024, up from around seven per cent in 2023.
“I’m happy to report Nunavut’s economy is expected to expand strongly this year, at a rate of seven per cent — that’s six per cent higher than 2020,” he said.
“Even better, our growth rate is expected to almost double in 2024, reaching an impressive 13.6 per cent.”
These numbers were provided to Akeeagok by the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Economic Development and Transportation, according to press secretary Michele LeTourneau.
Canada’s economic growth rate is expected to be much lower than that in 2023 and into 2024. TD Bank’s quarterly economic forecast, coincidentally published on Tuesday, pegged Canada’s growth rate at 1.2 per cent for this year and 0.7 per cent next year.
Akeeagok highlighted economic diversification as a key area of growth in his speech, including areas like harvesting and mining.
Mining, in particular, has experienced significant growth, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Akeeagok said.
“While several sectors of the economy contracted during COVID years, our mining sector expanded in both years by 27 per cent in 2020 and 14 per cent in 2021,” he said.
“Ascending gold production and iron ore shipment, coupled with firm commodity prices should rise the value of our 2023 mining output.”
Akeeagok also provided a few other updates on developments in the territory.
He said he expects 210 homes will be built by 2025 as part of the Nunavut 3000 housing initiative, which he described as an “unprecedented” construction rate.
Nunavut 3000 calls for 3,000 new housing units to be built across the territory by 2030.
Akeeagok drew upon the recent Northwest Territories wildfires to address the gap in infrastructure and services in the North compared to southern communities, saying he intends to keep pushing for more support from Ottawa.
Nunavut residents in Yellowknife were ordered to evacuate with the rest of the city, Kitikmeot medical patients were re-routed, and mail delivery was delayed as a result of the fires.
“They highlighted the inequity between Canada’s North and south when it comes to transportation routes,” Akeeagok said.
“This is something I will continue to raise with Prime Minister Trudeau.”
The Nunavut Trade Show continues in Iqaluit through Thursday.