Northern Development Ministers Forum

NEWS RELEASE – Northern Development Ministers Discuss  the North’s potential as a “Land of Opportunities”

Iqaluit, Nunavut (September 13, 2016) – Ministers representing  Canada's northern jurisdictions gathered this week in Iqaluit, Nunavut for the  Northern Development Ministers Forum (NDMF).

The 2016 NDMF was hosted by the Honourable Monica  Ell-Kanayuk, Nunavut's Deputy Premier and Minister of the Department of  Economic Development and Transportation. This year's theme was The North: Land  of Opportunities.

"Development in the North will create many opportunities  and advantages," said Minister Ell-Kanayuk. "We want responsible development of  the North that benefits our residents. I look forward to continuing to work with  our partners to advocate for increased infrastructure investment in the North."  

Strong relationships and partnerships are essential for  northern communities to address challenges and realize common goals. Experts on  relationship building between Indigenous and non-Indigenous governments and  partners shared best practices and opportunities for collaboration in the North.  The  forum's discussion was also guided by a best practices document outlining  initiatives across Canada that focused on governance, building capacity, and  economic development.

An expert panel addressed ministers on the topic of northern  food security.
Ministers also received a report regarding benefit  agreements between northern communities and resource industries. The report  provided insights into the keys to successful outcomes realized by signatories  of resource benefit agreements.

Ministers' discussions on emerging northern priorities will  set the stage for the 2017 NDMF in Québec. During the meeting ministers identified  that senior officials will examine possible projects such as renewable energy  for communities, Northern statistical data and labour force development and economic  opportunities.

"We are  delighted to be chairing the 2017 forum and welcoming Northern development  ministers to Québec," said Luc Blanchette, Québec's Minister of Forests,  Wildlife and Parks. The theme of the meeting will be "The Importance of  Collaboration in Northern Development," which is the cornerstone of Plan Nord  implementation.

The NDMF, established  in 2001, provides federal, provincial and territorial ministers representing  Canada's North with an opportunity to advance common interests and raise  awareness of northern issues and accomplishments. Information on the NDMF is  available at

Observations by Ministers

"This was a  productive forum. We discussed ways of developing the North in a responsible  fashion. Now, Nunavut looks toward moving discussion into action with the  creation of roads linking our northern communities, marine facilities allowing  better access to our fisheries and other resources, and improved airports to  enhance our air transportation system."

  • Monica  Ell-Kanayuk, Minister of Economic Development and Transportation,  Nunavut

"Québec has a  vision of Northern development that brings together the economic, environmental  and social aspects through the Plan Nord. This comprehensive, integrated and  coherent approach is implemented jointly with representatives from the regions  and Aboriginal nations concerned, and from the private sector. I am delighted  to have attended the Forum in Iqaluit, with other Forum members, to share our  respective experience and be inspired by best practices, so as to be better  able to respond to Northern needs and situations."

  • Luc  Blanchette, Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Québec

"It is  imperative that all Canadians understand that the North is truly the Land of  Opportunities. Tapping into the potential of Canada's North is essential to  growing our economy. Working together with provincial, territorial and  Indigenous partners, we are all committed to develop and implement the  innovative ideas and policies that will benefit Northerners and all Canadians  towards a sustainable and prosperous North."

  • Carolyn  Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Canada

"The Northern  Development Ministers Forum provides the opportunity to focus on northern  development with a long-term collaborative plan. It is paramount that we work  together on the aspirations of northern communities with a view to 20 to 25  years in the future. By looking ahead at the opportunities and challenges in  our northern regions, we can help to ensure our immediate efforts will lead to  successful partnerships, and improved social and economic development in the North."

  • Perry  Trimper, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Newfoundland and Labrador

"The Northern  Development Ministers Forum was an excellent opportunity to discuss the unique  potential that exists in Canada's northern communities.  The productive dialogue of our meetings is  further evidence of the need for long-term, sustainable economic opportunities  for Canada's northern regions. Our government remains committed to long-term,  successful northern development through strategic investments and partnerships  and we will continue to pursue opportunities that bring us closer to achieving  those goals."

  • Eileen  Clarke, Minister of Indigenous and Municipal Relations, Manitoba

"As highlighted  in the theme of this year's forum, Canada's North is a land of opportunities.  The collaboration and partnership between Canada's northern development ministers  is one of our strongest assets in identifying, pursuing and capitalizing on  these opportunities for the benefit of all Northerners. This forum was an  excellent opportunity to focus on the governance, and to economic development  approaches that will best guide our collective paths forward."

  • Wally  Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Northwest Territories

"This Northern  Development Minsters Forum was focused on the importance of building strategic  relationships to advance Canada's northern regions.  Through pro-active engagement and  collaboration with rural and remote Indigenous communities, the northern  regions will continue to grow and realize their full potential. Our government  is committed to building lasting partnerships and working together with our  northern colleagues to support sustainable economic and social development in  the North."

  • Richard  Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations, Alberta

Media contact:

Matthew  Illaszewicz
Manager,  Communications
Department  of Economic Development and Transportation
Government  of Nunavut
867-222-0122  (cell)