Hi from Edmonton, here for an eye check up. I love the City of Edmonton, first thing I always do is buy all the newspapers and magazines! You all know with the government restrictions we don’t have much time to shop when out on a medical trip.
I see Premier Bob McLeod’s remark about if the feds are not going to lift the ban on drilling in the Beaufort, he wants them to invest in the territory’s tech-sector and build a university in the North.
I don’t agree. If we build a university, we will have to import students as we don’t have enough people unless we invite foreigners. And, I hear, most universities in Canada have a large contingent of foreign students because they can charge them more than Canadian students. I say the only answer to our problem in the friggin’ NWT is the isolation and no highways.
What the hell is wrong with the Government of the Northwest Territories? A blind mouse can see the problem with our backwoods existence: open up our beautiful territory to the world. Tourists complain they are not able to get to Yellowknife when they drive through the Yukon and onto the Dempster highway to the Arctic. The Yukoners built the Dempster highway during the time of the big oil boom in Tuktoyaktuk in the 1970s so that they could get some of the business action. The government in the Yukon weren’t sleeping like the GNWT. They governed!
Boy, Tuk was sure booming during that oil exploration, everybody had a job. The companies — Dome, Esso and Gulf — each had three huge camps. I used to write about them in my articles. So, one day the three companies invited me to come up and check out their camps. They flew me to Tuk, put me up in a beautiful apartment and I couldn’t get over the meals they served their workers! The best food. And their rooms had white sheets and chamber maids to clean and make the beds. Of course, I wrote about that too.
And talking about Tuk and their new 300 million dollar highway; we know Tuk is losing land. Part of the ground is sinking into the ocean as was shown on TV. Where are other areas losing land into the oceans? I guess global warming is really here.
Anyway, back to the McLeod brothers; you can sure see our premier is mad. He should have been getting mad sooner. Take a good look at the mistakes the GNWT made all along the way, right from the beginning when the GNWT was formed. We must blame all the past premiers for the mess we are in today. Just check with the people and their neglected towns and regions, while the government sits in that white elephant of the legislature building that hasn’t served its people ever since when.
We, the little people must stand up for ourselves and get back down to earth and start working with the grass roots people. Time has come to stop bitching about problems, time to solve the problems in the communities. Time to create a life worth living.
Number one is to get us out of isolation even if it is with dirt roads. Create factories. Help trappers and get farms going, just like the missionaries used to do. Get the towns along the roads set up for tourism, advertise our beautiful territory all over the world. Get our beautiful Mackenzie ready for tourism. There could be camps along the river from Hay River to the Beaufort Sea, fishing and hunting camps. Aboriginal games are popular. Factories for natural resources like wood and clay, crafts, etc. There is life all along the Mackenzie river that needs publicity, so, let’s wake up.
By the way, about the tourists who drive to the Yukon and onto the Dempster to Inuvik; they used to ask us in Inuvik “why don’t you people build a highway from Inuvik to Wrigley, so that we can make a round trip instead of driving back to the Yukon?” We used to say, just ask the GNWT and the past premiers why there isn’t a road. Once the tourists were in Inuvik, they would fly to Tuk to put their feet in the Arctic Ocean. Now that there is a road, they can drive to Tuk.
And what about the homeless, alcohol and drug problems which are making big headlines in the papers? They, the government must find a way to reach these people. There are people dying of drug overdoses. Ask the grass roots people, form committees with the local people, they will know what to do.
Anyhow, life goes on and we must do our best. Christmas is around the corner and that will keep us busy. So, bye until next week.