Thank you, Mr. Speaker. The Government Leader often tells me, and rightly so, that I should not be so critical of the government. She will no doubt be happy to know, that today I rise to compliment the Minister of Public Works and his department.
The community of Rankin Inlet has been trying for some time to obtain funding for the clean up of the tailing from the old north Rankin Inlet Nickel Mine. This mine has been closed since 1962, and the tails were deposited on the titled lot to the north east of the community.
The community has had serious public safety and environmental concerns about this tailing pond for some time. In 1991, this project was included in the waste sites program of the Arctic environmental strategy. Almost $3 million was designated for clean up of this site. The Department of Public Works was designated to manage this project on behalf of the federal government.
Unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, the shear size of this project would have prohibited Keewatin companies from bidding on a single contract. This past spring I approached the Minister to see what mechanisms were available to ensure that Keewatin businesses were fully involved in the project. In the end, it was decided that a contract be negotiated involving a number of companies in the Keewatin region.
Mr. Speaker, I am happy to say that this project is going very well. The clean up of the tailings pond is proceeding as planned and the contract arrangement has provided much needed work for both businesses and people in the Keewatin and ensured that the economic benefits accrued from such a project, remain in the Northwest Territories.
Mr. Speaker, it is this type of arrangement that ensured a large contract remained with northerner contractors. It is a welcome and much needed initiative.
I would like to thank the Minister and his department for the political vision to see the importance of this initiative and the bold action they took to ensure it's success. Given the success of this project, I am sure that similar arrangements for large contracts can be made in other parts of the Northwest Territories in the future.
Mr. Speaker, I trust that the Government Leader will note my good deed for the week. Thank you.