Federal government gives $1.3M to three N.W.T. initiatives

·2 min read

The federal government on Friday announced $1.3 million in funding for groups in Yellowknife, the Sahtu and the Dehcho.

Ottawa said the money would stimulate more economic growth, enhance skills development, and create new jobs in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has caused a lot of issues that we hadn’t counted on over this past year," said Michael McLeod, the N.W.T.'s Liberal MP.

“Through this investment, the federal government is helping small N.W.T. businesses maintain full-time jobs and create many new jobs and generate good local employment.”

Makerspace, a Yellowknife non-profit that focuses on hands-on learning, shared space and skills-building for people of all skill levels, will receive around $730,000 for a three-year project.

The GNWT will further invest $154,000 and Makerspace is contributing $300,000 of its own funds.

The money will help to create a collaborative space, establish an industrial equipment and tool-lending library, and create two full-time jobs.

Makerspace president Cat McGurk said she was excited to expand the organization and create a dedicated space.

“The idea is to provide people with the space to work on projects and also the opportunity to build their own capacity and skill-build,” McGurk told Cabin Radio.

“If we’re talking about trying to build community capacity and skill-building within the community, that doesn’t happen without involving people from various different interest groups.

“We’re really excited to build on some of the relationships we have, develop a relationship with organizations in town, and bring them into the space – to use it and see how they would like to use the space.”

McGurk said Makerspace is in the process of signing a lease and hopes renovation work can begin in the spring, with the building opening shortly thereafter.

Beaver Enterprises in Fort Liard will receive $175,000 from the federal government for a one-year project to buy equipment that helps to “meet their contractual obligations and enhance their ability to service the construction industry.”

Canadian Equipment Finance and Beaver Enterprises will also invest a total of $325,000 in the project.

The project is designed to create economic opportunities for the Acho Dene Koe First Nation and allow Beaver Enterprises to participate in more economic ventures.

Ten full-time jobs will be created.

$464,000 is being invested in a one-year project in Norman Wells to create a new waste management facility, with the Norman Wells Land Corporation contributing an additional $116,000.

That money will support Indigenous employment and training and help Sahtu communities reach long-term sustainable economic growth.

Sarah Sibley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Cabin Radio