Canada: Conservatives’ federal election campaign heads North with infrastructure announcement

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Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, right, and his wife Laureen talk with Conservative candidate for the Northwest Territories Floyd Roland as they visit the banks of the Hay River in Hay River, Northwest Territories, on Friday, August 14, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, right, and his wife Laureen talk with Conservative candidate for the Northwest Territories Floyd Roland as they visit the banks of the Hay River in Hay River, Northwest Territories, on Friday, August 14, 2015. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Conservative leader Stephen Harper brought his election campaign north on Friday with a promise to finance a $14-million road improvement project on Highway 5 in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

“Investments like this make life easier and safer both for the folks that live here and for tourists,” Harper said at a campaign stop in the N.W.T. community of Hay River.

Currently the stretch of Highway 5 between Hay River and the community of Fort Smith, located about 270 kilometres to the east, is mostly gravel.

Harper, Canada’s current prime minister, said if that if re-elected, his Conservative government would assume the full cost of the project to pave the road, widen it, and install culverts.

Harper has long made the Arctic a key legacy project of his leadership and Friday’s stop was the first time he has campaigned in the North since the election campaign was launched on August 2.

A stop is scheduled later this afternoon in Iqaluit, the capital city of Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut.

Canadians go to the polls on October 19.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  The geometries of Arctic all-weather road construction, Blog by Mia Bennett

NorwayNorway delays bridge-building to Russia on road to Crimea, Barents Observer

Russia: Murmansk, Russia: Transport hub trouble, again, Barents Observer

Norway:  Norway improving infrastructure on Arctic island, Barents Observer

United States:  Distinct visions for Alaska port project, Alaska Dispatch News

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic circumpolar news project. At Eye on the Arctic, Eilís has produced documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the circumpolar world. Her documentary Bridging the Divide was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards. Eilís began reporting on the North in 2001. Her work as a reporter in Canada and the United States, and as TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China" has taken her to some of the world’s coldest regions including the Tibetan mountains, Greenland and Alaska; along with the Arctic regions of Canada, Russia, Norway and Iceland.

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