CanNor announces $1.8M for 5 N.W.T initiatives

·2 min read
A file photo of Inuvik, N.W.T. in the winter. CanNor announced $400,500 toward a year-round farming project in the town, one of five initiatives to receive funding in N.W.T. (Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit)
A file photo of Inuvik, N.W.T. in the winter. CanNor announced $400,500 toward a year-round farming project in the town, one of five initiatives to receive funding in N.W.T. (Philippe Morin/CBC - image credit)

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency announced more than $1.8 million for five initiatives in the Northwest Territories Wednesday.

CanNor says the funding will create more than 25 new full- and part-time jobs, and maintain or expand existing jobs. The money will go toward supporting projects in Inuvik and Fort McPherson, as well as beneficiaries in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Gwich'in Settlement Region.

The funding includes:

  • $550,000 for the Inuvialuit Community Economic Development Organization toward a two-year project developing a COVID-19 economic response strategy.

  • $277,363 for the Tetlit Zheh Development Corporation toward upgrading its business plan along with its facilities, including installing a security fence, garage renovations and construction of a lumber storage area.

  • $400,500 toward purchasing and installing a 40-foot sea can-based hydroponic garden system for a year-round farming project in Inuvik.

  • $100,000 for the Teetl'it Gwich'in Band toward building and installing a community freezer in Fort McPherson, along with the creation of a training program for residents around harvesting, processing and storing country food.

Some of the initiatives are already underway.

Tetlit Zheh Development Corporation's acting manager Trina Nerysoo says it has already hired people and work has begun to expand its facilities.

Ray Solotki, executive director of the Inuvik Community Greenhouse, says the hydroponics unit has already arrived in Inuvik, and a local person has been hired to run it.

She said there's around "80 different" veggies and herbs they can grow in it, including bok choy, different kinds of lettuce and mustard greens. The first harvest is expected in about two months.

"We will be selling it both at our space at the greenhouse markets, at the town markets, and we will be selling through North Mart as well," Solotoki said, adding the goal is to produce 500 pounds (around 226 kilograms) of food per month.

In a statement, N.W.T. MP Michael McLeod said the the funding will support northern businesses, organizations and communities with opportunities as they "weather the economic impacts of this pandemic."

"Strategic investments like these also help greatly at a local level with community economic development and job creation, and, more broadly, the development of a diversified and sustainable economy across N.W.T."