CALGARY, Alta.– The School of Public Policy and CIRANO are undertaking a major research project designed to gauge the feasibility of a “Northern Corridor” – a game-changing multi-use right-of-way that could meet Canada’s pressing need for resource transportation routes across Canada and to ports on three coasts.
Claude Montmarquette, CEO of CIRANO characterized the proposed Northern Corridor as “a potential answer to several problems. Namely, how to safely transport resources of various kinds away from densely populated Southern regions, how to increase Canada’s access to foreign markets, create greater economic opportunities for people living in northern Canada, and how to overcome the regulatory log-jam that has characterised attempts at building more southerly rights-of-way for years.”
At a press conference held today at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Jack Mintz, Claude Montmarquette and Andrei Sulzenko shared the podium to outline the research plan, and drive home the importance of a new transportation route to Canada’s future.
“A large, single, multi-use right-of-way could allow the construction of a rail line away from towns and cities, and pipelines that make it to ports. The reality is that the window of opportunity for Canada to take advantage of the international demand for our renewable and non-renewable resource is not infinite, and could already be closing. Canada needs new markets. A single right-of-way could radically accelerate Canada’s progress towards market diversification and creates a literal and figurative bridge across Canada’s regions,” said Jack Mintz, Director of The School of Public Policy.
The School of Public Policy and CIRANO will undertake the initial paper by fall of this year. The paper will identify the areas of further study required. Then, a subsequent phase of more detailed research on key issues including: system design and rationalization; costing and financing; public policy support; and economic, social and environmental impacts will begin.
Pending the result of the initial feasibility study, the proponents of Northern Corridor will help facilitate stakeholder engagement and work towards a federal decision on how to proceed by 2017, said the release.