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4TuesdayMarch102015TheNorthernJournalisanindependentnewspapercoveringnewsandeventsinthewesternArcticandnorthernAlberta.2013CCNABLUERIBBONCANADIANCOMMUNITYNEWSPAPERAWARD2013CMCAAUDITEDTheNorthernJournalispublishedweeklybyCascadePublishingLtd.PrintedatStarPressInc.WainwrightAB.Publisher.................................................................................DonJaque867-872-3000ext.21donnorj.caEditor.........................................................................MeaganWohlberg867-872-3000ext.24newsnorj.caReporter.......................................................................DaliCarmichael867-872-3000ext.25reporternorj.caComptroller.....................................................DixiePenner867-872-3000ext.23dixnorj.caAdvertising..............................HeatherFoubertHayRiver867-874-4106adsnorj.caAdministration............................................JeremyTurcotte867-872-3000ext.26adminnorj.caProductionManager......................................SandraJaque867-872-3000ext.22sandranorj.caGraphics........................................................PaulBannister867-872-3000ext.27graphicsnorj.caLetterstotheEditorPolicyTheNorthernJournalwelcomesletterstotheeditor.Lettersmustbesignedandincludeaphonenumbersotheauthorcanbeveried.Nameswillbewithheldonrequestinspecialcircumstanceswherethereasonsaredeterminedtobevalid.TheJournalreservestherighttoeditlettersforlengthlibelclarityandtaste.Opinionsexpressedinlettersandcolumnsarenotnecessarilythoseofthepublisheroreditor.AdvertisingDeadlinesDisplayaddeadlineisThursdayat400p.m.ClassiedaddeadlineisThursdayat500p.m.Emailadsnorj.caSubscriptionRatesPricesincludeGST.47.25inFortSmith52.50elsewhereinCanada105intheUSAoverseas164.30.EDITORIALLETTERTOTHEEDITORPoorwildfireplanningputscommunitiesinperilWinterisalmostoverandunlesstheNorthexperiencesaseriesofstormsthatdropanabundanceofsnowinthenextmonththeforestsinspringwillbetinder-dry.Sincethecomingsummerpromisestobeasdrought-strickenaslastyearwildreswillbeamajorthreatonceagain.Communityleadersshouldbegettingreadyforsuchpossibilities.Woodlotsforcuttingfirewoodshouldhavebeendes-ignatedinanyforestedareasadjacenttoneighbourhoods.Make-workprojectsplanEveryNortherncommunityneedsone.Wherewouldresidentsgotobesafeifawildfirepushedbywindisathreaten-ingforceattheedgeoftownMostcom-munitiesintheNorthhaveonlytwoef-fectiveexitstwowaystogetoutoftown.WhatifbothwerecompromisedbecauseofmorethanonefireIfacommunityhastoevacuatehowwouldthatbeexecutedHundredsofcarsandtrucksmanyofthemwithstressedout-evenpanicked-driversheadingoutofthecommunityontheonlysaferoadisarecipeforproblems.HowwouldthatbehandledIfawildfireinvadesacommu-nityandadverseconditionsremainfordayshowwouldtheevacueesmanageIsthereanavailableportablesupplyofwaterthatwouldlastforseveraldaysforhun-dredsofpeopleWhatkindofsheltersinamosquitoandblackfly-infestedsummerwouldbeavailableinsuchanemergencyHowwouldmotherswithbabiescopeorfamilieswithsmallchildrenInmostplacesnoneofthathasbeenthoughtthrough.FewNortherncommunitiesifanyareadequatelyprepared.LastsummerintheNWTentirecommu-nitiestransportationroutestransmissionlinesandhydrostationswerethreatenedforweeksonendwithmassivefirecom-plexescausingpoweroutagesandmakingairqualitysopoorresidentswereoftencoopedupfordays.Atourismlodgeandafamilyhomesteadwereclaimedintheinfernosthatleftfirecrewspowerlessinthefaceofnaturesfury.Intotal3.5mil-lionhectaresofforestburned.Thecostofattemptingtocontrolthefireswasover55million.ThemostcompellingthingtonoteisthatalmosteverycommunityinthesouthernhalfoftheNWTwasthreatenedbywildre.Itisonlybythegraceofgoodfortunethatnocommunitiesburnedandnoliveswerelost.Thatsamesituationisverylikelygoingtohappenagain.DroughtisimpactingthenorthernpartofSaskatchewanAlbertaandmostoftheNWT.Whateverisleftoftheborealforestthathasnotburnedrecentlyisvulnerable.Everycommunityisapotentialvictim.Thisneedstobeacknowledgedunderstoodanddealtwith.Goodleadershipisrequiredineverycommunityplanningandprepara-tionsareessential.EditorIwouldliketoaddresscommentsregard-ingourGovernmentsNutritionNorthCan-adaprograminyourJournal11MaddedtoNutritionNorthnotnewmoneyNWTMPMar.32015.OurGovernmentwantsNorthernerslikeallCanadianstohaveaccesstoqualitynu-tritiousfood.NutritionNorthCanadaNNChasdonejustthatbysucceedinginreduc-ingfoodpricesoneligibleitems.Forexam-plepreliminaryresultssuggestthatthecostoftheRevisedNorthernFoodBasketforafamilyoffourhasdroppedbyapproximately110amonthinthersttwoyearsoftheprogram.DuringthesametimeperiodthevolumeofeligibleitemsshippedtoNortherncommunitiesincreasedbyapproximately25percentmeaningthatourGovernmenthasincreasedtheamountoffoodshippedtotheNorthanddecreasedthepricethatconsum-erspayforit.BycontrastbothJustinTrudeauandThomasMulcairhavepromisedtoputinplaceacarbontaxifelectedataxincreasethatwillmakeeverythingintheNorthin-cludingfoodmoreexpensive.Tocontinueprogressforthisyearandnextwewillbeinvestingover133milliontowardsretailsubsidiestoensurecontin-uedaccesstohealthyfoodsforNortherners.LetmebeclearweremaincommittedtoprovidingNorthernerswithaccesstoper-ishablenutritiousfoodthatswhyoverthecomingmonthswewillcontinuetoengagewithNorthernersretailersandsuppliersonideastokeepimprovingtheprogramforNortherners.MarkStrahlMPParliamentarySecretarytotheMinisterofAboriginalAffairsandNorthernDevelopmentGovernmentworkingonfoodsolutionsfortheNorthpursuingfire-smartprogramsshouldbeactivatedinthefallandspringmonths.Neighbourhoodsthatinterfacewiththeforestmusthaveabuffersothatfire-fightershavesomethingtoworkwithintheeventofawildfire.IsyourcommunitydoingthosethingsWhataboutfacilitatinganemergencymeasurescommitteewhosejobitistoplanforthethreatofwildfireThatcommit-teeledbyanexperiencedandconnectedleaderaformerfirechiefperhapswouldconsideremergencysituationsthatmightariseplanforhowtobestdealwiththemandcommunicatethoseplanstoresidents.DoesyourcommunityhavethatgoingonIfnottheleadershipisnegligent.DoesyourcommunityhaveanevacuationThemostcompellingthingtonoteisthatalmosteverycommunityinthesouth-ernhalfoftheNWTwasthreatenedbywildre.Itisonlybythegraceofgoodfortunethatnocommuni-tiesburnedandnoliveswerelost.Thatsamesit-uationisverylikelygoingtohappenagain.PhotosDaliCarmichaelForveweeksFortSmithresidentssoughttocutoutthecaloriesandincreasetheircardiofortheannualBiggestWinnercontest.Afterlosing8.91percentofherbodyfatEdnaWoodwardaboveleftwasnamedthewinnerofthisyearschallengefollowedcloselybylastyearswinnerBeckieLinnakerat8.28percentandDwadeHawleywith7.77percent.Togetherthisyearsroundofcontestantslostatotalof390.4lbsbetweenabout50participants.Thechallengenowistocontinuewiththeirhealthylifestylehabits.