Real Issues the PM Should Be Addressing About The Arctic

Northerners deserve a real discussion and real policy
By John Bennett

Troy Media

The Prime Minister is on his annual whirlwind tour of the Arctic. These trips show the flag, demonstrate his commitment to developing the North and usually evoke comments about long overdue promises for ice breaking patrol boats and the ancient rifles wielded by the Arctic Rangers.

There will be plenty of photo-ops and few real questions asked. It unfortunate, because there are so many important things Canadians would like to know about the future of the North.

The Northwest Passage is burning in the consciousness of all Canadian school kids, so these prime ministerial jaunts always put it front a centre. The story told so well by Stan Rogers of ill equipped explorers fighting the elements fires our imagination.

With the climate changing, the narrative has changed. The Northwest Passage is no longer a dream of daring adventurers. It’s now an eventuality. The loss of ice in the North will impact weather patterns across Canada. The economic implications go well beyond shorter shipping routes. So why are government scientists prevented from telling Canadians about the ice conditions in the North?

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