Mr. Speaker, in the Northwest Territories the single most discussed and called for infrastructure project is the completion of the Mackenzie Valley Highway.
Recently, NWT leadership of all stripes has come out strongly in favour of the highway. Building the highway would bring many jobs for northerners and its benefits would last for generations to come. Benefits to northerners would be increased economic development and a lower cost of living. It would benefit Canadians as the highway would reduce the cost of developing our natural resources.
One of the holdups for completing the highway is the confusion over which government has the authority to build it. I will be consulting northerners on a private member's amendment to the Northwest Territories Act, which will clearly place the jurisdiction for new highway construction with the Northwest Territories.
However, the NWT still needs help from Canada to make this project happen.
The Mackenzie Valley Highway offers a win for all interested and involved in northern development. It is a legacy investment of the first order, a chance to apply principles of strategic development to our region and a chance to do the right thing for the NWT and Canada.