Highway 1

Highway 1 in the Northwest Territories, often known as the Mackenzie Valley Highway is the road connection between Alberta and the Northwest Territories.  It starts in Alberta in the town of Grimshaw, AB (hwy 2, then hwy 35) and turns into Highway 1 when it enters the Northwest Territories.


The Government of Northwest Territories is committed to extending NWT Highway 1 (the Mackenzie Highway) from Wrigley to the Dempster Highway, and extending NWT Highway 8 (the Dempster Highway) from Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk.  This project is usually referred to as the Mackenzie Valley All-Weather Road to Tuktoyaktuk, or simply the Mackenzie Valley Highway.

THE PROBLEM: The existing highway to Fort Simpson which was paved and/or chip sealed needs major sections repaired.  In addition, the extension of the highway which was promised to be an additional 100 km per year has not happened.

THE SOLUTION: The Fort Simpson Chamber of Commerce worked
with MLA Kevin Menicoche (Nahendeh) in the summer of 2011, creating a petition
in the community to rally community support for the repair of this highway.
Using the results of this petition, MLA Kevin Menicoche has formally requested,
in the Legislative Assembly, that funds be allocated for the repairs. The
response was that there is no money at this time to fix the highway. You can
read the entire response of the government in the resource link below.


Write a letter to the members of the Legislative Assembly to urge the
repairs to the Liard Highway. You can use this form letter, or write your own.
Please send a cc of each letter you send to Nick Sibbeston, Senator. Send to:

Minister of Transportation, Mr. David Ramsay david_ramsay@gov.nt.ca

Minister of Finance, Mr. J. Michael Miltenberger michael_miltenberger@gov.nt.ca

Michael M. Nadli, MLA Deh Cho Michael_Nadli@gov.nt.ca

Kevin Menicoche, MLA Nahendeh kevin_menicoche@gov.nt.ca

Robert Bouchard, MLA Hay River North robert_bouchard@gov.nt.ca

Jane Groenewegen, MLA Hay River South jane_groenewegen@gov.nt.ca

cc. Nick G. Sibbeston, Senator, Parliament of Canada sibnic@sen.parl.gc.ca

If you wish to write to all the members of the Legislative Assembly in this
consensus government, you can find their contact information here. This is the form letter.

Dear Sir,

Tourism in the Northwest Territories generates more revenue, over $111 million
annually, than all other renewable resources combined—yet the Liard Highway, an
integral part of the Deh Cho Connection, is impassable for all but
trucks and similar sturdy vehicles.

TheTourism 2015: New Directions for a Spectacular Future report
recognizes that one of the challenges of meeting their goal is the “poor
surface conditions on the Liard Highway”. There are only nine licensed tourism
operators in the Deh Cho region (compared with 16 in the Sahtu region), due to
its inaccessibility to tourist traffic to-and-from the province of British

With a commitment of only $3,000,000 a year, the road can be resurfaced and
repaired, so tourism buses and cars can travel without risk to their vehicles
on the Liard Highway. In the past, there was a constant stream of tour buses
each summer through the Deh Cho when the highways were first built. As the
roads have deteriorated, so has the tourism traffic, and the consequent loss of
jobs in the region.

I urge you to consider the importance of working with your esteemed
colleagues in the Legislative Assembly in establishing a suitable
infrastructure to support the largest revenue generating industry in the
Northwest Territories—tourism. We cannot put these urgently needed repairs off
for another year.


(your name)

(your address)


Map of the Mackenzie Valley Highway

Another Milestone Reached For Mackenzie Valley Highway – June 22, 2011

Mackenzie Valley Feasibility Study Update – May 16, 2011

Conservative Majority:  A Continued Focus on Arctic Sovereignty – April 22, 2011

Mackenzie Valley Highway to Tuktoyuktuk – 2011

1948 Mackenzie Highway – Grimshaw to Hay River

Executive Summary of the Benefit Cost and Economic Impact
Analysis Mackenzie Valley Highway Extension
– GNWT 1999

Mackenzie Valley Review Board

Road and Ferry Conditions on the Mackenzie Highway