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This year, we have once again witnessed the effects of climate change in our northern First Nation communities. While the slow start to cold winter temperatures have been enjoyed by many, the impacts to the remote and isolated communities across the country have been detrimental. Climate change has compromised the well-being of northern communities making this matter a very pressing issue.

The winter road construction and the opening of these roads have been delayed by over a month and a half, which means that there will be less time for the shipping of goods, food, and fuel, building materials with other critical and necessary supplies to northern communities.

It needs to be understood that the winter road system is a lifeline for many northern remote and isolated communities.

One solution is significant investment by all levels of government for the creation of an all-weather road system that will connect communities which will permit access year round. 

It is no longer acceptable that in the year 2016, northern communities need to rely on a winter road system, especially given that it continues to fail us.

Investment in the development of an all-weather road system is critical and it only makes economic sense. An all-weather road system will create resource revenues for communities along with the provincial and federal governments. Creating year round access will lessen the costs of goods and services, freight and shipping costs will create viability for economic development opportunities, access to health and social services and will lessen the burden and financial costs to governments in subsidy and funding of programs, goods and services. 

An all-weather road system is imperative, and we must act now to develop a long term strategy to create sustainable infrastructure for the benefit of northern communities and for all Canadians. 

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