Ottawa, Quebec announce $53-million for construction at northern research institute

Laval University’s campus in Quebec City. Construction on a new pavillion for the Institut nordique du Québec (Quebec northern institute) is set to begin in 2021. (Courtesy Laval University)
Canada’s federal government, and the province of Quebec, have announced investments totalling $53-million towards construction at the Institut nordique du Québec (Quebec northern institute).

“The Institut nordique du Québec plays an essential role in bringing together the best talent in northern and Arctic research to find innovative and ethical solutions to our challenges in the North,” said Jean-Yves Duclos, Canada’s social development minister, in a news release on Friday.

“By bringing together the experience, knowledge and skills of various experts—particularly Indigenous experts—we will be helping to build a prosperous, sustainable region of dynamic and healthy communities in the years to come.”

Big bucks to help promote northern knowledge

Ottawa will contribute $25.5 million. That money will come from the New Building Canada Fund – Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects, a fund set up to support infrastructure projects that it determines are of “national, regional and local significance that contribute to objectives related to economic growth, a clean environment and stronger communities.”

The government of Quebec will contribute $27.5 million. The money will come from  Société du Plan Nord (North plan society), a body set up to help chart, along with Indigenous groups and the province’s regions,  how to best develop northern Quebec as part of the province’s Plan Nord (North plan).

“This also represents a significant step in the implementation of the Plan Nord du Québec,” said Pierre Moreau, Quebec’s minister of energy and natural resources, of the investment.

“The Institut nordique du Québec is an important part of the Plan Nord, a sustainable development strategy which is founded on scientific knowledge from a variety of disciplines. The Institut nordique du Québec will allow us to promote the full potential of Northern Quebec, to inhabit it sustainably, and also to protect it.”

Better collaboration for researchers

The institute was founded in 2014 and is located on the campus of Laval University in Quebec City.

The project was set up for researchers to better collaborate and share knowledge on Arctic Quebec and northern regions elsewhere in Canada.

The money announced Friday will go towards the construction of a new pavilion for the institute. The building is set to include laboratories, warehouses, and places where parties can prepare for research trips.

The final budget for the project will be over $80 million, with other contributions coming from Laval University, its partners, and Quebec City, said a Laval University news release on Friday.

Construction is slated to begin in 2021.

Write to Eilís Quinn at eilis.quinn(at)

Related stories from around the North:

Canada: Study in Northern Quebec to assess impact of climate change on Inuit foods, CBC News

Finland: Sámi school preserves reindeer herders’ heritage with help of internet, Blog by Mia Bennett

Greenland: Glacier half the size of Manhattan breaks off Greenland, CBC News

Norway: Northern Barents Sea warming at alarming speed, The Independent Barents Observer

Sweden:  Swedish icebreaker heading for North Pole to study melting sea ice, Radio Sweden

United States: Shellfish poisoning becoming less predictable, say researchers in Alaskan Indigenous communities, CBC News

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is an award-winning journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic news cooperation project. Eilís has reported from the Arctic regions of all eight circumpolar countries and has produced numerous documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the North.

Her investigative report "Death in the Arctic: A community grieves, a father fights for change," about the murder of Robert Adams, a 19-year-old Inuk man from Arctic Quebec, received the silver medal for “Best Investigative Article or Series” at the 2019 Canadian Online Publishing Awards. The project also received an honourable mention for excellence in reporting on trauma at the 2019 Dart Awards in New York City.

Her report “The Arctic Railway: Building a future or destroying a culture?” on the impact a multi-billion euro infrastructure project would have on Indigenous communities in Arctic Europe was a finalist at the 2019 Canadian Association of Journalists award in the online investigative category.

Her multimedia project on the health challenges in the Canadian Arctic, "Bridging the Divide," was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Her work on climate change in the Arctic has also been featured on the TV science program Découverte, as well as Le Téléjournal, the French-Language CBC’s flagship news cast.

Eilís has worked for media organizations in Canada and the United States and as a TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China."

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