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Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway Officially Open To Traffic

Ribbon cutting ceremony marking the official opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway

Celebrations were held in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk on November 15 to celebrate the official opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada; the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs; the Honourable Robert R. McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories; and the Honourable Wally Schumann, Minister of Infrastructure, joined dignitaries and residents from across the territory, including Inuvialuit Regional Corporation's Chair and CEO Duane Smith, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Inuvik and community celebrations in Tuktoyaktuk.

View Photos from the Official Opening of the Highway

"I want to say on behalf of Inuvialuit Regional Corporation that we are very proud to be a part of the construction of this road," Smith said. "Congratulations to everyone that has contributed to the finalization of this project. Let's continue to work together to build on that so that we can enhance the benefits within the community as well as the region." 

Year-round road access to Tuktoyaktuk will increase the quality of life for local residents by providing an alternative to air transportation for food, supplies, equipment, and travel. The highway will also allow for increased tourism opportunities, improved access to natural resources, and other economical opportunities. It will also strengthen the strong bond that exists among communities in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. 

"To some people it's just a road, but for us who live in the region it's a road to opportunity," Smith said. "We want to build on it to maximize the benefits within the region, become more self-resilient as a people, and contribute to the society of Canada in general."

After the opening remarks and a special screening of "End of the Ice Age", a documentary on the last season of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road, dignitaries participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony before travelling the 137 km to Tuktoyaktuk. Once there, a packed arena enjoyed a craft sale, fireworks, community feast, and performance by the Tuktoyaktuk Drummers and Dancers.

"Our shared goal with Northerners is to build strong families, communities and economies in the North," said The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. "This new all-season road will create new economic development opportunities, provide better connection to essential services for individuals, and help lower the cost of food and supplies for families in Tuktoyaktuk. It will also allow for more Canadians to experience the beauty and majesty of the Arctic and meet the inspiring Northerners who live there."

The Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway was the last piece in a highway system that now links Canada from coast to coast to coast, connecting the Beaufort Sea and the Arctic region to the rest of the country.

For more information about the opening of the Inuvik Tuktoyaktuk Highway, please contact:

Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
Tel: (867) 777-7055