Government of Canada supports Sylvia Grinnell Bridge Project
IQALUIT, Nunavut (February 8, 2008) – Canada’s Minister of the Environment John Baird, together with Nunavut Premier Paul Okalik and Nunavut Environment Minister Olayuk Akesuk today announced the Government of Canada is investing $1.6 million in the Sylvia Grinnell Bridge Project. Minister Baird made the announcement on behalf of the Hon. Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians and the Hon. Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.“Our Government is pleased to partner on a project which is both culturally significant and designed to create new economic opportunities for local tourism entrepreneurs,” said Minister Baird. “This announcement builds on other work we’re doing to preserve and protect our natural heritage in the North, like the massive expansion of Nahanni National Park Reserve, the protection of the East Arm of Great Slave Lake and the Ramparts River and Wetlands.”
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada will contribute $838,669 as part of the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development initiative, and the Department of National Defence will contribute over $800,000 to design and construct the bridge and manage the project through the Bridges for Canada program.
“Investment in infrastructure such as the Sylvia Grinnell Park Bridge, demonstrates our commitment to promote economic and social development in the North, as a key part of our Government’s Northern Strategy,” said Minister Strahl.
“I am proud of the Canadian Forces’ contribution to the Sylvia Grinnell Bridge project. It is a clear example of the working partnership between the military and other government departments at all levels,” said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “It also underlines our commitment to enhancing infrastructure and quality of life for all Canadians living in the North.”
Sylvia Grinnell Park in Iqaluit, Nunavut is the territory’s oldest and most widely visited territorial park. The bridge will span approximately 100 metres across the river.
“Building a bridge over the Sylvia Grinnell River will provide safe and consistent access for tourists and locals alike to an area rich in cultural heritage, marine resources and majestic scenery,” said Premier Okalik. “As locals have historically depended on ice to cross the river and in recent years break up has been earlier and freeze up later, this bridge also represents a major step forward in adapting to climate change.”
“The bridge project is a first step toward transforming Sylvia Grinnell Park from a day-use park into a major destination park for both local residents and visitors,” said Minister Akesuk. “Linking the eastern and western areas in this way will enhance experiences while ensuring the long-term health of the park and ultimately provide a land link to Qaummaarviit Historic Park.”
The Government of Nunavut’s Department of Environment is responsible for ensuring the protection, promotion and sustainable use of natural resources in Nunavut by supporting the management of the environment, wildlife and parks.
The Trans Canada Trail Foundation and the Rotary Club of Iqaluit are also key partners on the Sylvia Grinnell Bridge project. The Trans Canada Trail Foundation will promote the trail and coordinate fundraising efforts with Rotary Club of Iqaluit.
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada works with the Government of Nunavut and the Nunavut Economic Forum to identify investments in priority areas to help generate important economic opportunities for Northerners, and their businesses and communities.
For further information please contact:
Office of the Minister of the Environment
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Nunavut Region
Department of National Defence
Executive Assistant to Minister Olayuk Akesuk
Department of Environment
Government of Nunavut