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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones

Minister Geoffrey Kelley Inaugurates Kuujjuarapik Airport, A $4 Million Investment in Nunavik

Kuujjuarapik, June 27, 2006 – On behalf of Ms. Julie Boulet, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Region of Mauricie, Mr. Geoffrey Kelley, Minister for Native Affairs, today proceeded with the inauguration of the new airport in the Inuit village of Kuujjuarapik in northern Quebec.

Constructed during the summer of 2005 at a cost of $4 million, this modern airport serves the Inuit community of Kuujjuarapik and the Cree community of Whapmagoostui, which are both without a road link to the rest of Quebec. This new infrastructure is of great importance to northern Quebec; as well as serving the local communities, the airport at Kuujjuarapik, with its new installations, will serve as an entranceway to the Inuit communities along the coast of Hudson Bay. This means of access will facilitate the free circulation of people and goods, as well as exchanges between the north and the south.

The airport installations at Kuujjuarapik were put in place and used for military purposes during the 1950s. Later, in 1985, management was conferred to the Ministry of Transport, which undertook with the Inuit to modernize the airport and adapt its services to the contemporary needs of its users. For Minister Boulet, this is a reflection of the excellent partnership established among the Inuit, the government of Quebec, and the regional authorities that undertook to improve the quality of life for the northern people by modernizing the air transport infrastructure.

“Thanks to exemplary collaboration with the Kativik Regional Government, management and realization of this construction project was carried out and work was successfully completed. The entente signed in 2004 by the government of Quebec and representatives of the Inuit is the origin of this partnership, from which significant and tangible benefits have resulted only two years later for the people living in the region,” underscored Minister Boulet.

For his part, Minister Kelley stated that the construction of the airport constitutes another concrete example of the partnership Quebec wishes to conclude with the Inuit. “We want to continue to encourage development of the northern territories by creating new links that contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of the population. By modernizing such installations, the Inuit are putting in place the essentials of full governance,” concluded Mr. Kelley during the inauguration.

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Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
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Online as of : June 27, 2006