Quebec premier pledges money for Nunavik marine infrastructure, cost-of-living subsidies
KRG presents Quebec with big broadband study
KUUJJUAQ — The Quebec government announced Sept. 13 that it will give $1 million over the next three years to help renovate marine infrastructure across Nunavik.
That money will flow in installments starting this fall with $200,000 and $400,000 in 2014.
“This is infrastructure that is absolutely vital to these communities,” Marois said at a news conference held in front of the Kativik Regional Government headquarters in Kuujjuaq early Sept. 13.
A Quebec government delegation is in Nunavik this week, meeting with regional leaders on a number of files, including measures to offset the high cost of living in Nunavik.
To that end, Marois said she had also handed over a $5 million cheque this week to the KRG and Makivik Corp., which jointly manage the programs which, among other things, help lower the cost of gasoline.
The Marois government was also handed a new feasibility study on building a high-capacity broadband network in Nunavik.
The study, made public this week, explores three options: an optical fibre network, a microwave tower network or high-speed satellite network.
The KRG wants to increase internet capacity in Nunavik by 30 times what it is now by 2021, but that goal can’t be met without a lot of money from different levels of government, the KRG says.
“I know it’s important for your communities to remain connected to the world like any other citizen wishes to do,” Marois said.
“I’ve mandated Stéphane Bédard, president of the treasury board, to study these proposals, and at the end of this study, we will work with the community to adopt a solution.”
But Nunavik leaders will want quick action, as the region’s current communications agreement expires in 2016.
Marois said the government may need over a year to study those proposals.
Since arriving in Nunavik, Marois has made clear that she wants to find “real solutions” to the issues affecting the quality of life of people who live in Nunavik.
But the premier also called on the federal government to step up in its support for the region, saying Nunavik’s projects relied on funding.
“It’s vital that Ottawa play a role here,” she said, “and unfortunately, that’s not always the case.”
Marois and the delegation travelling with her will spend the day in Kangiqsualujjuaq, visiting the nearby Kuurujuaq park and officially launching the park’s interpretation centre.