In June 2019, the Canadian senate released a report titled Northern Lights: a Wake Up Call for the Future of Canada. It warned of emergency conditions in the Arctic, created through decades of neglect, climate change, and a lack of infrastructure, that leaves the North vulnerable to crisis. But it also predicted that the Arctic could play a central role in Canada’s future. One year later, in the context of a pandemic, has that assessment changed?
One of the people involved in the study is my guest today – Senator Dennis Patterson is the current senator for Nunavut, and a former Premier of the Northwest Territories. He sat down with me to reflect on the findings of the senate report and what has changed as a result of COVID-19 challenges. Mostly, we talk about the way forward – how to implement the necessary tools for economic security in the Canadian North, when the resources already exist.
How much reading time do you have today?
Full Senate Report: https://sencanada.ca/en/info-page/parl-42-1/arct-northern-lights/
Quick CBC summary: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/nunavut-minister-berates-southern-bureaucrats-1.5172375