Bob Zimmer, Conservative Shadow Minister for Northern Affairs and Arctic Sovereignty; Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, recently completed a trip to Inuvik, Northwest Territories where he met with local leaders.
The trip was an opportunity to discuss the importance of our Arctic sovereignty and security, the rising cost of living in the North, as well as the need for responsible resource development to once again, be a priority for economic development.
“It was important to me to come to Inuvik to learn more about the issues facing those living in the region,” said Mr. Zimmer. “Having lived in Northern British Columbia for most of my life, I understand that there can often be a disconnect between the realities facing those living in the North and the decisions being made in Ottawa.”
While in Inuvik, Mr. Zimmer met with Gwich'in Tribal Council Grand Chief Ken Kyikavichik, MLA for Inuvik Twin Lakes Lesa Semmler, Inuvik Mayor Clarence Wood, Director of Inuvialuit Lands for Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Charles Klengenberg, Manager of Oil and Gas Rights for the Government of Northwest Territories Johnny Lennie, President of International Logistical Support Inc. Les Klapatiuk, President of New North Networks Ltd. Tom Zubko, CEO of North of 60 Medical Solutions Ltd. Paul MacDonald, and Inuvik Satellite Station Facility Manager Jiri Raska.
“I am deeply alarmed by the fact that the Trudeau government has deemed a vital NORAD facility known as the Green Hangar as ‘no longer necessary’ and has allowed it to go up for sale,” said Mr. Zimmer. “I also heard from several Northern leaders about how the rising cost of living is making life in the North unaffordable, as well as the negative impacts Trudeau’s decision to shut down responsible resource development is having on our Northern communities.”
Mr. Zimmer highlighted many of these issues in Ottawa this week by making a statement in the House of Commons, questioning the Minister of Northern Affairs during Question Period, and asking questions at a meeting of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs. He also wrote a letter to the Minister of National Defence regarding the NORAD facility.
“Unfortunately, with this week’s NORAD announcement we are seeing more of the same from the Trudeau government. Hollow promises with few details and no timelines,” said Mr. Zimmer. “I will continue to call on the Trudeau government to urgently develop a robust plan to defend Canada’s Arctic sovereignty and security and keep Canada and Canadians safe.”
“I want to thank everyone who took the time to meet with me during this trip. It was filled with frank and open discussions on a wide variety of issues facing those living in Inuvik and in the North. Thank you as well to Paul Komaromi for his time and expertise in helping to coordinate these meetings,” said Mr. Zimmer. “I am honoured to be able to bring attention to these issues and to push the Trudeau government to take real, concrete action.”