Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik March 18, 2011 - 9:45 am

Quebec’s budget: new roads south and a deepwater port for Nunavik

Quebec plans to spend $1.6 billion by 2016 on new northern infrastructure

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Nunavik communities like Kangiqsujuaq already have paved roads, but the construction of roads from Nunavik to the south are included in Quebec's new budget, tabled March 17 in the National Assembly. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)
Nunavik communities like Kangiqsujuaq already have paved roads, but the construction of roads from Nunavik to the south are included in Quebec's new budget, tabled March 17 in the National Assembly. (PHOTO BY SARAH ROGERS)

Quebec’s budget, tabled March 17 in the National Assembly, reveals how much Quebec plans to spend over the next five years on projects related to its soon-to-launched Plan Nord: a total of $1.6 billion.

The budget shows that Nunavik can expect to see some large-scale development and construction in the near future.

According to the budget, $56.8 million will go towards building a road to link Nunavik to the rest of Quebec.

Another $32.8 million will pay for the construction of a deepwater port at the mouth of the Great Whale River near Kuujjuaraapik and Whapmagoostui as well as for a road leading from the twin communities to Radisson.

Of $1.6 billion, a total of $1.2 billion will go for new infrastructure across Quebec’s north.

About $382 million will pay for other projects to improve social conditions in the region— which could include plans to build enough housing units to meet Nunavik’s estimated 1,000 shortfall in housing.

Millions earmarked for these measures will flow from the government’s new “Plan Nord fund.” Money from tax revenues due to new hydroelectric projects, mining and tourism development will feed this fund.

“The resources in our northern regions belong to all Quebecers,” Quebec finance minister Raymond Bachand said in a March 17 news release. “Developing them will generate substantial revenues for society in the form of taxes and mining royalties.”

Quebec also plans to spend $500 million on private resource development projects in northern Quebec.

Quebec’s budget comes only weeks, maybe days, before the province launches its 25-year plan for development for Nunavik and the rest of Quebec north of the 49th parallel.

Bachand said that Nathalie Normandeau, the minister responsible for Plan Nord, will announce details of this plan “soon.”

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