Improvements ahead for some of Canada's Yukon territory roads (photo: David Adamec)
The Canadian government and that of the Yukon territory will invest more than US$290 million to improve 650km of roads within the northern territory.
Around $199 million will come from the federal government and works include construction of several bridges for highways that lead into the Yukon's central Dawson Range and the Nahanni Range areas.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hopes that the investment will boost development of natural resources. The roads pass close to several planned mines that have yet to receive regulatory approval for development. These include the Goldcorp Coffee Gold Mine and Casino Mining’s open-pit mine project.
Many of the upgrades and new construction will require environmental consultation with local indigenous peoples whose lands are close to the roads.
Yukon is the least populated of Canada’s has the smallest population of any province or territory, around 36,000 live within the 482,000km². The territory is larger than California as well as Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands combined. However, it occupies less than 5% of Canada's total area. Most of Yukon has a subarctic climate with long cold winters and brief warm summers.