Nunavut Premier PJ Akeeagok expressed disappointment in not seeing the investments he was looking for in the federal budget for the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link, a proposed infrastructure project that would bring reliable internet and energy to the Kivalliq from Manitoba.

“I have been a strong and vocal supporter of the Kivalliq Hydro-Fibre Link project, which promises to achieve transformative change in our region of the territory,” said Baker Lake MLA Craig Simialak in the legislative assembly May 25.

“Mr. Speaker, as the minister is also aware, the Kivalliq Inuit Association is leading this project through the Nukik Corporation and I pay tribute today to the association’s leadership. Can the minister provide an update today on his department’s role in this project and its relationship with the Kivalliq Intercommunity Road Study that is currently underway?”

Akeeagok called the fibre link a “transformative project” and said he met with Kivalliq Inuit Association president Kono Tattuinee on it just recently.

“I’ve had the opportunity to go down to Ottawa as well with the invitation of President Tattuinee to do a lobby before the federal budget,” said Akeeagok. “During my most recent meeting just the other day, I think we all shared the frustration that we didn’t see the investments in the federal budget. That is something that the Nukik board, as well as President Tattuinee was advocating for, for quite some time. On this particular project, we meet very regularly and the updates are there and we’re very supportive of this Inuit-led, Inuit-driven project that would really bring transformative changes not only to Nunavut but to Canada as we move forward.”

At the previous day’s legislative assembly, May 24, Simialak had asked economic development minister David Akeeagok for an update on the $1.6-million study to undertake a detailed analysis and assessment of the proposed Kivalliq Intercommunity Road initiative.

Akeeagok confirmed that there had been a delay on starting with consultations for that study, but said he didn’t know why, adding the people running the study have now scheduled for in-person community visits for all five communities in September.

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