This Hansard has not been finalized - this is the "Blues" in Parliamentary speak, or unedited transcript in regular speak.

In the Legislative Assembly on February 9th, 2024. See this topic in context.

Member's Statement 59-20(1): Lutselk'e Winter Road Access
Members' Statements

February 9th, 2024

Richard Edjericon

Richard Edjericon Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. Mr. Speaker, I recently returned from a constituency meeting in Lutselk'e. And once again, my people there want me to talk about the high cost of living. They are just under 200 kilometres away from the rest of us here in Yellowknife but they pay twice as much as we do on groceries. It's almost like taxing the community just for living on their own land. It's only the community was just accessing by barge or plane. The people there would be under less financial pressure. Lutselk'e could use more barges, more flights to relieve the stress, but what would really take the pressure off the community is a road. With even just a winter road, goods, fuel could be transported into Lutselk'e by struck for several months; a far cheaper and more frequent option than by plane or barge. Building supplies like lumber could also be more accessible transported into the community with road access which could ready aid the construction of a new building and renovation of older houses.

Lutselk'e sees more development on the horizon, and the projects we have in the works could also lower the cost. With the Northwest Territories hoping international investments, a winter road would make Lutselk'e -- would be far more accessible to tourists from around the world and infrastructure would attract more development. More and more tourists will experience Dene culture and land, and businesses want to be part of the opportunity the region holds.

An ice road of this size is proven possible. In 2021, an ice road was constructed from the Nechalacho Mine projects from Dettah to Thor Lake. If expanded by another hundred kilometres, it could reach Lutselk'e, giving a vital link to the rest of the world.

Lutselk'e needs to become more accessible so that people can thrive. I know the cost of living and economic development are topics for this government, so I look forward to hear what the answers are when I ask the Minister for MACA on the ice road. Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Member's Statement 59-20(1): Lutselk'e Winter Road Access
Members' Statements

The Speaker

The Speaker Shane Thompson

Thank you, Member from Tu Nedhe-Wiilideh. Members' statements. Member from Mackenzie Delta.