Proposed 7,000-kilometre resource corridor would improve life in Canada's North. The fundamental idea underlying the Northern Corridor concept is to establish a multimodal right of way stretching across the Canadian Territories of Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut, as well as the northern portions of several provinces, including the REDI region of Alberta.
A 7,000-kilometre corridor in Canada’s North and near-North that would establish an east-west right-of-way for road, rail, pipeline, electrical transmission and communication networks, and connect with existing networks in southern Canada.
Once established, this right-of-way would facilitate the development of private and/or public-sector projects.
The opportunities for increased economic activity that would result from access to new mining sites, forests and agricultural lands in Canada’s North. The proposed northern corridor would also provide the opportunity to develop telecommunications infrastructure and improve access to broadband Internet in Canada’s northern regions.
The proposed northern corridor would provide those who reside in Canada’s North with a better quality of life and enhanced economic opportunities, including through the development of tourism, a lower cost of living, access to reliable and cleaner electricity, greater connectivity and improved social services.
As the proposed northern corridor would cross over Indigenous peoples lands, and would affect their way of life, consultation with Indigenous peoples is essential. Several social and economic benefits of the proposed northern corridor for First Nations, including the development of First Nations businesses, high levels of employment, and better access to First Nations communities in order to improve water, wastewater and housing conditions.
It is widely acknowledged that Canada’s development as a nation has largely been shaped by the major transportation infrastructure projects undertaken throughout the country’s history. These projects have been particularly successful at enabling the development of the southern parts of the country. However, Canada’s northern regions have remained largely undeveloped.
Canada could reduce its reliance on the United States as an export destination if it exported more through Canadian – rather than U.S. – ports, and trade agreements with Asia and the European Union demonstrate the need for better transportation infrastructure to serve these markets.
The multi-billion dollar investment that would be required for construction of infrastructure within the proposed northern corridor, as well as the improved access to foreign markets that would result, would support economic growth and job creation.
The first stages would involve determining the best route, securing the right-of-way and undertaking consultations. The proposed route is a treasure house of natural resources, and that exploitation of these resources would make a significant contribution to future economic and population growth.
The Northern Corridor would foster the growth of northern towns and cities, making living in the North more affordable by cutting transportation costs and living expenses.
Information sourced from ‘National Corridor – Enhancing and Facilitating Commerce and Internal Trade – Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce- June 2017