Secure North depends on better infrastructure, premiers say – by David Lochead (Nunatsiaq News – May 9, 2024)


Akeeagok, leaders from Yukon and N.W.T. meet over 4 days in Pond Inlet for Northern Premiers’ Forum

To strengthen sovereignty and security in Canada’s North, the federal government needs to invest in infrastructure that can also benefit northern communities, Premier P.J. Akeeagok said Thursday. “For many years, as northern premiers, we’ve been voicing the importance that Arctic security and sovereignty [means] seeing our communities vibrant,” he said in Iqaluit.

Akeeagok spoke during a press conference with the premiers of Yukon and Northwest Territories, following their annual Northern Premiers’ Forum where their territories’ shared interests are discussed.

Akeeagok chaired this year’s forum held from May 6 to 9 in Pond Inlet, known as Mittimatalik in Inuktitut. The start of this year’s forum coincided with a visit by three federal cabinet ministers to Iqaluit to discuss the Canadian government’s defence policy, Our North, Strong and Free.

On May 5 in Iqaluit, Defence Minister Bill Blair said having northern operational hubs for the Canadian Armed Forces that can also be used as resources by local communities is a pillar of the defence policy.

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