So Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have a new ad out. Â Canadian politicians since the days of John G. Diefenbaker have been loving the north. Â John Turner, Jean Chretien, Stephen Harper all love the north. Â Itâ€™s expected that Justin Trudeau loves the north as wellâ€¦ and wants to make it better! Â Thatâ€™s it. Â
As a voter, I want to hear how. Â What is the big strategy. Â There is some political room for him to maneveur as Harper has really accomplished nothing as part of his northern agenda. Â The Department of National Defence canâ€™t even procure rifles for the Rangers (who arguably donâ€™t need replacements for their bolt action rifles that work really well in the winter). Â Plans for a deepwater port? Â Umm that has gone nowhere. Â
Instead of just matching Harperâ€™s unfulfilled and broken promises with real ideas, Trudeau just floated out some cliches and feel good statements. Â In other words, not much has changed.
Especially when we canâ€™t even get a handle on some of the worst social issues in the country?
Iqaluit Mayor Madeleine Redfern has two Twitter accounts on which she chronicles the ups and downs of the Nunavut capital.
On the plus side of her online ledger is the recent catch of a 70-tonne bowhead whale by local hunters and the first visit north by Governor-General David Johnston.
On the other side are the territoryâ€™s lamentable schooling levels and a stream of suicides, including a young man who took his life just days after his girlfriend killed herself.
It goes on to say
Tangible improvements are difficult to highlight, but there is more training available for northerners to take advantage of employment in newly opened mining projects. Two dozen young aboriginals also signed up for a summer boot camp this year to give them a taste of the soldiering life.
But education remains the biggest roadblock to northern prosperity â€” and also to Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic, Inuit leaders insist.
â€œIf we have strong, educated, engaged northerners who are part of managing the north â€” which includes the resources and asserting sovereignty through living in strong, vibrant communities â€” then we all benefit,â€ Mayor Redfern noted in a Twitter posting.
â€œItâ€™s very difficult for any other countries to be able to assert those claims when we are active participants in those discussions.â€