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Minister Vandal highlights renewable energy supports in the Fall Economic Statement and announces funding for new renewable energy initiative in Iqaluit

Press Release

From: Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

November 9, 2022

Nunavut Nukkiksautiit Corporation (NNC) is adopting an Inuit-led approach to harnessing renewable energy thanks to a new initiative that could reduce the city’s reliance on heavily polluting and expensive diesel. The goal of this initiative is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and make power and home heating more affordable. Iqaluit is one of the largest off-grid communities in Canada and, like every community in Nunavut, is entirely dependent on diesel power for heat and electricity. Fossil fuel systems in Nunavut carry risks and vulnerabilities that are ultimately faced by all Inuit who rely on this fuel source.

The Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project endeavours to develop an alternative solution through Inuit leadership in the green economy. A solution that minimizes risks, vulnerabilities, and harms to the environmental and social networks that are central to Inuit culture. Inuit knowledge and values will be built into development activities from the outset to ensure that it is directed by Inuit. The initiative is expected to bring Inuit closer to energy sovereignty, affordability, and environmental sustainability. The initiative will ensure Inuit can invest in and operate infrastructure that protects the land, creates local jobs, and generates financial returns that can be reinvested to promote growth, well-being, and affordability.

Today, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, CanNor, and PrairiesCan, announced funding support of $4 million under the Northern REACHE Program for this important initiative. The community-led initiative is led by the Nunavut Nukkiksautiit Corporation (NNC), a subsidiary of Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, a wholly owned Inuit birthright development corporation of the Qikiqtani Inuit Association.

In the recent 2022 Fall Economic Statement, the Government of Canada highlighted its plan to continue its sound stewardship of the economy and to be there for Canadians. This includes an ambitious plan to strengthen industry and build a thriving net-zero economy with major investments in renewable energy, create new opportunities and jobs, and fight climate change.


“Climate change is a global problem that disproportionally affects all Inuit and our way of life. It is our moral responsibility to fight these impacts while securing the well-being of future generations. The Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project presents an opportunity for Nunavummiut to meaningfully participate in the clean energy transition towards net-zero carbon.”

Harry Flaherty, President and CEO
Qikiqtaaluk Corporation

“The Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project puts the community at the forefront of development and prioritizes Inuit self-determination. Inuit-led renewable energy development offers a pathway to community-shared prosperity; in many ways, it is Truth and Reconciliation in action.”

Heather Shilton, Director
Nunavut Nukkiksautiit Corporation

“Our government continues to partner with and support Indigenous-led, community-based approaches to addressing the challenges faced by our changing climate. Inuit are on the front lines for much of this change, and communities are taking a leadership role in exploring challenges and identifying ways to adapt. Through our government’s new investments in cleaner electricity generation in the recent Fall Economic Statement and important initiatives such as the Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project, I am confident that communities across the North and Arctic will reduce dependence on polluting, expensive diesel and create a more sustainable, cleaner future for generations to come.”

The Honourable Dan Vandal,
Minister of Northern Affairs, CanNor, and PrairiesCan

Quick facts

  • Iqaluit is one of the largest off-grid communities in Canada and is 100% reliant on fossil fuels for energy. The Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project is based on renewable energy potential in the Iqaluit region and could displace 100% of Iqaluit’s diesel (currently 15 million litres per year) and allow for future growth.
  • The Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project is receiving $4 million in funding through CIRNAC’s Northern Responsible Energy Approach for Community Heat and Electricity Program (Northern REACHE).
  • To date, the Northern REACHE Program has invested more than $39 million in 161 projects across the North. In Nunavut, 35 projects received $9.7 million in support.
  • An additional $11 million beyond the above-mentioned support has been allocated to two projects in the territory, including the Iqaluit Nukkiksautiit Project, through the program’s planning and feasibility of a hydroelectricity and grid-interconnection funding stream.
  • Supporting Indigenous leadership and co-developing solutions to reduce reliance on fossil fuels in northern communities for First Nations, Inuit and Métis is central to advancing the reconciliation journey and self-determination.
  • Launched in 2019 and developed with Indigenous representatives and six territorial and provincial governments, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework is a long-term vision for the Arctic and the North to reflect the priorities and perspectives of Arctic and northern people.
  • New measures proposed in the 2022 Fall Economic Statement include: Investing in Jobs, Growth, and an Economy That Works for Everyone:
    • Launching the new Canada Growth Fund, which will help bring to Canada the billions of dollars in new private investment required to reduce our emissions, grow our economy, and create good jobs.
    • Introducing major investment tax credits for clean technologies and clean hydrogen that will help create good jobs and make Canada a leader in the net-zero transition, and incentivizing higher wages for workers by increasing the level of the credit when certain labour protections are met.
    •  Implementing a new tax on share buybacks by public corporations in Canada.
    • Creating the Sustainable Jobs Training Centre and investing in a new sustainable jobs stream of the Union Training and Innovation Program to equip workers with the skills required for the good jobs of today and the future.

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For more information, media may contact:

Kyle Allen
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Dan Vandal
Minister of Northern Affairs, CanNor, and PrairiesCan
[email protected]

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
[email protected]

Jess Puddister
Stakeholder & Regulatory Manager
Nunavut Nukkiksautiit Corporation
[email protected]


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