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CanNor invests in Yukon’s energy potential

Whitehorse, (Yukon), March 8, 2011 – Yukon’s potential to develop and benefit from its significant energy resources will be the subject of a feasibility study thanks to an investment by the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) today announced funding of more than $300,000 over two years for a feasibility study and business plan to assess the viability of future oil and gas development in the Eagle Plain region of Northern Yukon.

Funding is being provided to the Vuntut Gwitchin Limited Partnership, the lead on the project on behalf of the North Yukon Economic Partnership (NYEP). NYEP includes the four First Nations of Vuntut Gwitchin, Tr’ondek Hwech’in, Nacho Nyak Dun and Gwitch’in Tribal Council.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support this project as it will help provide a clear understanding of the future resource and economic development possibilities for Yukon,” said Minister Duncan, who is also Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians. “We are committed to working with our territorial and First Nation partners to help build a sustainable and diversified economy that will benefit Northerners and all Canadians.”

“A reliable source of affordable energy is key for the development of sectors such as mining and would help increase energy self-sufficiency for Yukon,” said the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Member of Parliament for Nunavut, Regional Minister for the North and Minister of Health. "Positive results from this study could lead to project development which would create significant new jobs and educational opportunities and new businesses."

“This study is a proactive step by the four Northern First Nations toward their future involvement in the supply of affordable, greener energy for the Yukon territory,” said Ron Daub, Executive Director of the Vuntut Gwitchin Limited Partnership.

“Two key pillars of the Yukon government’s Energy Strategy are to provide a reliable and locally produced energy supply for Yukon and to encourage responsible development of our natural gas resources,” said Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Patrick Rouble. “This innovative and collaborative study is an encouraging step towards these goals and we are proud to support it.”

This investment is made possible through CanNor's Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) initiative, which focuses on long-term economic growth, economic diversification and capacity building in all three territories.

SINED is one of several economic development initiatives within CanNor. CanNor is responsible for coordinating and delivering Canada's economic development across the North, and for related policy development, research and advocacy.