Cannor Opens Permanent Headquarters in Nunavut

June 21, 2012

Iqaluit, Nunavut – Today the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) and Minister of Health, joined territorial partners, community leaders and industry stakeholders to officially open the new Iqaluit headquarters for CanNor, Canada’s first stand-alone agency dedicated to northern economic development.

“Establishing the permanent location for CanNor in Iqaluit is an important milestone for the Harper Government,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Since its creation in 2009, CanNor has worked closely with its partners across the North, making real progress on creating jobs and business opportunities, supporting skills and capacity development, and creating long-term prosperity for northerners.”

“Our Government is committed to strengthening economic growth in Canada’s North,” said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women. “We are very pleased to have been able to support CanNor with the construction of their headquarters in Iqaluit. Following an open, fair and transparent process the lease was awarded to an Inuit firm, demonstrating that our procurement system provides economic opportunities for Canadians across the country.”

CanNor has delivered on its mandate to advance northern economic development through delivery of a suite of contribution programs, by aligning the efforts of partners and stakeholders, serving as a champion for northern interests, undertaking policy and research, and providing path-finding services for industry and a centralized source of information and guidance on northern regulatory systems and processes. Its programs and services include the Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) program, the Northern Projects Management Office (NPMO), Aboriginal Economic Development programs, and the Northern Adult Basic Education program.

The new offices are located in Phase IV of the Inuksugait Plaza, which is owned and managed by Qikiqtaaluk Properties, a Nunavut-owned company. CanNor Iqaluit employees had been housed in temporary quarters since the Agency’s establishment in 2009. Other federal government offices will be located in the same building including Public Works and Government Services Canada and the new Nunavut offices of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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Notes for an address by

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, MP

Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister of Health

at the

CanNor Headquarters Opening


Thursday, June 21, 2012


Good afternoon everyone.


As Minister of the Canadian Northern Development Agency, and a proud Northerner, I am delighted to be here with you today for the grand opening of CanNor’s new permanent offices in Iqaluit. It’s great to be able to celebrate this significant occasion with so many of our partners and members of the community.  I especially want to recognize Qikiqtaaluk Corporation for their efforts in organizing this wonderful event.

Establishing the permanent location for CanNor’s headquarters in Iqaluit represents an important milestone for the Agency. CanNor was created almost three years ago because our government recognized the potential in Canada’s North.  When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced our agency’s creation in August 2009, he said “not only is the North a land of raw and majestic beauty that has inspired generations of authors, artists and adventurers, and not only is it the home to a rich culture shaped through the millennia by the wisdom of Aboriginal people, but it also holds the potential to be a transformative economic asset for the country.”

Since then, we have been working with our partners and stakeholders to create jobs, economic growth, and long-term prosperity for northern communities.

Today’s opening is an important step in the Government of Canada’s commitment to establish an economic development agency -- right here in Iqaluit -- dedicated to a strong, sustainable and dynamic northern economy. With vast deposits of valuable natural resources and with a talented youthful population the North’s importance has never been greater. CanNor is working hard to make sure the North is positioned to fulfil its economic and resource development potential.

With its new headquarters in Iqaluit, and regional offices in Yellowknife and Whitehorse, CanNor is positioned in the communities it serves to properly help Northerners benefit from the jobs and economic opportunities available.

CanNor has invested in projects that foster long-term economic growth by supporting northern communities, businesses and industries, including tourism, mining, and oil and gas development.

Take this office opening for example.  We have supported Qikiqtaaluk Corporation with a 10 year lease of this office space.

In the Yukon, CanNor has significantly supported mine training, including an investment of $1.2 million in mining simulator modules that will boost the local supply of skilled equipment operators in the territory. Recently six students who have gone through the training program with the Yukon Mine Training Association are now working for Yukon Zinc and the Wolverine Mine. As a result of their training, they were upgraded from labourers to heavy equipment operators.

Supporting the long-term development of the fishing industry is another example. CanNor is helping support critical research for offshore and inshore fisheries development in Nunavut. Working with the Government of Nunavut, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Nunavut fishing industry, multi-year projects are being undertaken to survey offshore fish populations to support long-term sustainability and support potential increased quotas. Research is being done inshore to develop the Cumberland Sound turbot fishery, the char fishery throughout the territory, and to evaluate the potential for new fishery development in our deep water fjords.

Inuit-owned companies like Niqitaq are major contributors to economic development and job creation in Nunavut, which is why CanNor recently funded a project that allowed Niqitaq Fisheries to purchase 49 percent of the non-Inuit shares of the vessel Sikuvut. This resulted in Niqitaq owning 100 percent of two vessels, which gave the company more control over their fishing enterprise and the benefits associated with the fishery.

We have also invested in a broad scope of economic development initiatives in the North, including arctic research, mine training and funding for Aboriginal organizations partnering with the resource development industry.

I am also proud that CanNor supports geoscience research and data collection across all three territories, including $3.275 million over three years to support continuing geoscience research and data analysis in the Northwest Territories. Here in Nunavut, the  Canada-Nunavut Geoscience Office is going out on the land this summer to collect data on the Hall Peninsula which will provide valuable information for possible future resource development. The data gathered from geoscience research ultimately leads to new discoveries, which creates new jobs, business opportunities and wealth for Northerners and all Canadians.

For Northerners to take advantage of new job and business opportunities created by these initiatives, the Government of Canada has also supported skills and capacity development through a variety of projects and most recently through the Northern Adult Basic Education Program.

Now switching hats, I am pleased as the Minister of Health to provide details about a commitment we made in Budget 2012.   Our Government is committed to delivering effective and efficient programs and services to all Canadians.  As one contribution to address health disparities faced in Canada’s North, our Government will strengthen its presence in the North.  The Public Health Agency of Canada will invest in an office in Iqaluit and additional public health professionals serving the North. With an office here in the city, the Public Health Agency will be closer to its key stakeholders and clients and better positioned to focus on service delivery and working with territorial governments.

The new Public Health Agency office will be located here in the Allavvik Building. The opening of that office and the permanent location for CanNor are concrete examples of the Government of Canada’s continued commitment to work with Northerners to create safe, healthy and prosperous communities.

I would like to congratulate everyone who has worked so hard to make this opening possible today, including Qikiqtaaluk Properties and Public Works and Government Services Canada.

I also want to thank my hard working and dedicated CanNor staff who are helping to make a real difference in the North.

As we all gather today with this beautiful building behind us and look towards a future full of potential for the North, I find the name of this buliding, Allavvik, or ‘place to work’ particularly fitting.  We have come to this place to work together to build a strong and prosperous economic future for those who live, work and support their families in Nunavut.


Thank you.