Work continues on the Dempster Fibre Line project, an 800-kilometre fibre optic line that will run along the Dempster Highway between Dawson City, Yukon, and Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
ROHL Global Networks, in partnership with Dagoo Services, has been awarded a $67 million dollar contract for the construction of the Dempster Fibre Line. From this, more than 20 per cent of the contract value will be subcontracted to First Nations businesses.
The project’s design has benefitted from extensive First Nation and community consultations. As a result of these discussions, project operations will ensure:
protection of heritage, social and cultural resources; and
minimization of environmental impacts with special consideration for the protection of permafrost, wetlands, caribou and nesting birds.
This line will connect to the existing Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link. Together, these lines will result in improved internet and communications performance as well as enhanced opportunities for economic development and diversification.
By early 2021, the project completed the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment process and the Government of Yukon received a land use permit from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board. Site preparation began in 2020. Construction of the fibre line will begin this summer in Dawson City and is scheduled to be complete in 2024.
This is an important milestone for the Dempster Fibre project. Investing in more reliable telecommunications and internet service for Yukon communities will help Yukoners participate fully in the digital economy. Moreover, it will bring real economic benefits to northern communities as well as employment opportunities.
Minister of Highways and Public Works Nils Clarke
This project is funded by the Government of Canada through its Connect to Innovate Program and Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, as well as investments from the Government of Yukon and Northwestel.
Dagoo Services is a strategic joint venture comprising Gwitchin and First Nations business people and a local Yukon contractor, Put Put Contracting.
The project will result in direct employment hours for First Nation citizens as well as subcontracting opportunities for First Nation businesses.
The Government of Yukon, in partnership with Aurora College, offered certification courses in environmental and wildlife monitoring in both Dawson City and Inuvik. Participants who received certification will have employment opportunities during construction of the line.
Environmental and wildlife monitors will serve a critical role in the successful implementation of the project through this important and sensitive ecosystem.