Merci, Monsieur le President. Bah humbug. Sorry, no, honestly I am not Scrooge but there are some more things that I got to talk about.
On April 17, 2020 the federal government announced $1.72 billion in financial assistance for remediation of orphan and inactive oil and gas wells in western Canada as part of Canada's Economic Response Plan for COVID-19. On May 28, October 14, 2020 and February 10, 2021, I made statements in this House about the potential for the NWT to access similar funding, working in partnership with Yukon and Nunavut. As I understand it, the requests from our government keep getting pitched as bailouts for the mining or petroleum sectors, or letting operators off the hook for current liabilities. Clearly this approach is not working as no federal investment has materialized after more than a year and a half.
Despite our fumbling, there are success stories, such as the work done by the Sahtu Secretariat with the federal government on the governance agreement for the Great Bear Lake Remediation Project announced in February 2021. I will keep pushing our government to focus our proposals on an accelerated remediation program for northern contaminated sites, not a bail-out for the resource sector.
To repeat what I've said, the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory shows 1,661 sites in the Northwest Territories with an estimated remediation cost at $12.375 billion, about six times our total annual budget. The GNWT 2019-20 public accounts show a total of 278 sites under our jurisdiction that may require remediation with a cost of $75 million. This work should be speeded up under a regional accelerated remediation program for the North.
Apart from the potential infusion of federal cash, there are the added benefits of environmental protection and capacity building for other work like Norman Wells and the Polytechnic University. In other words, building a remediation economy. I have offered several times to help Cabinet pitch an accelerated contaminated sites remediation program to the federal government but there's been no uptake. Later today I will have questions for the Minister of ITI on why there has been no visible progress on securing federal investment in an accelerated contaminated sites remediation program. Mahsi, Mr. Speaker.