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4 Tuesday July 14 2015 The Northern Journal is an independent newspaper covering news and events in the western Arctic and northern Alberta. 2013 CCNA BLUE RIBBON CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2013 C M C A AUDITED The Northern Journal is published weekly by Cascade Publishing Ltd. Printed at Star Press Inc. Wainwright AB. Publisher................................................................................. Don Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.21 Editor.........................................................................Meagan Wohlberg 867-872-3000 ext.24 Reporter....................................................................... Dali Carmichael 867-872-3000 ext.25 Comptroller ..................................................... Dixie Penner 867-872-3000 ext.23 Advertising.............................. Heather Foubert Hay River 867-874-4106 Administration............................................Jeremy Turcotte 867-872-3000 ext.26 Production Manager ......................................Sandra Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.22 Graphics........................................................Paul Bannister 867-872-3000 ext.27 Letters to the Editor Policy The Northern Journal welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and include a phone number so the author can be veried. Names will be withheld on request in special circumstances where the reasons are determined to be valid. The Journal reserves the right to edit letters for length libel clarity and taste. Opinions expressed in letters and columns are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. Advertising Deadlines Display ad deadline is Thursday at 400 p.m. Classied ad deadline is Thursday at 500 p.m. Email Subscription Rates Prices include GST. 47.25 in Fort Smith 52.50 elsewhere in Canada 105 in the USA overseas 164.30. EDITORIAL OPINION A leader who fails on multiple fronts Along with poverty Nuna- vut is plagued with a poor economy lack of jobs aging power plants over- crowded jails and many other systemic problems. Despite her lofty status Aglukkaq has done little to allay any of that. Soon after she was elected the Conserva- tive MP for Nunavut in 2008 Leona Agluk- kaq was appointed to Cabinet by the Prime Minister and many Northerners indigenous Canadians and women were optimistic that having one of their own representing at such a high level meant good things would come but in time disappointment prevailed. The smart experienced Inuk politician from Gjoa Haven held great promise but it seems what matters to her most is keeping her party in power to further their version of Conservative ideals than truly representing her constituents. One of the most partisan Conservative members of Parliament Ag- lukkaqs penchant for heckling opposition members with rude catcalls has gained her a reputation of lacking dignity one of those most responsible for the lack of decorum in the House of Commons. Aglukkaq was mediocre at best as the minister of Health during her three years in the role. As chair of the Arctic Council she took the unusual approach of promoting industrial develop- ment rather than environmental protection including drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean. The Arctic Council is a forum where countries with common interests in the Arctic work together cooperatively for mutual gain but Aglukkaq inappropriately used it as a plat- form to go after the Russians nailing them over her governments displeasure about the situation in Ukraine much to the chagrin of other members of the council wanting to move forward on issues like climate change. Following her re-election in 2011 she was appointed Environment minister. Again she has been more a proponent of industrial growth and development than a champion of the environment. Her latest misstep was to avoid attending the international climate change summit in Toronto last week head- ing off to her riding to attend a celebration and get a head start on election campaign- ing instead. Her rationale for missing the preparatory event leading up to the next in- ternational climate change convention apart from her desire to celebrate Nunavut Day is that the Conservative government has been doing a good enough job at reducing green- house gas emissions that she does not need to be involved in such discussions. The En- vironment Canada website indicates the op- posite that emissions have been going up steadily under the reign of the Conservative government and they have failed to meet all the targets they have set. Add to that the now common knowledge that climate change will impact the Arctic more dramatically than anywhere else and that those changes are already having a dele- terious impact on her peoples homeland and their lives. What is to be done about that She of all people is in a position to do something and should be in the lead. She is not. She does not even acknowledge climate change since it is not a priority of her government. Climate change is changing the type of food available from the land impacting what in- digenous Canadians have traditionally eaten. Nothing is more demonstrative of that than what has happened to the caribou herds. It is important to foster awareness and seek solu- tions and to evolve a new healthy northern diet. As a former health minister one would think she would be enthusiastically engaged in such things. She hears those concerns from her constituents but ignores them. As an Aboriginal person it is her responsibility to advocate for other indigenous Canadians who will be impacted. She is a leader but somehow she does not feel that sense of duty. Aglukkaqs other failure has been a lack of effort towards dealing with poverty in Nun- avut. One way to do that would be to put in placeaprogramforsubsidizingtheoutrageous food costs in Northern communities but the Conservative governments Nutrition North program - which she surely must have had input into - has been ineffective. Not only is it not working well in the places where it ap- plies many Northern communities are not eligible to receive its benets. While Agluk- kaq remains silent on the matter it has been left to the opposition NDP to rally on behalf of Northerners to improve their lot. Along with poverty Nunavut is plagued with a poor economy lack of jobs aging power plants overcrowded jails and many other systemic problems. Despite her lofty status Aglukkaq has done little to allay any of that yet she is already busy electioneering hoping the people of her riding will ignore her record and send her back to Ottawa for a third time. Last election she received nearly 50 per cent of the votes in the constituency a resounding endorsement. Hopefully her constituents will be wiser in October and elect someone new who is a good represen- tative for Nunavut. Modernizing Sober Second Thought By PAUL J. MASSICOTTE and STEPHEN GREENE Recent events have brought a strong politi- cal need for the Senate to modernize. After the mediafrenzysurroundingcertainSenatorsex- pensesitisevidentthatthisinstitutionrequires change to remain relevant credible and useful intheeyesofCanadianswhoweserve.Keeping in mind that Constitutional change is difcult we believe an answer to Senate reform can be found through a key initiative reducing insti- tutionalized partisanship in the Red Chamber. Just over a year ago the Supreme Court reminded us that the fundamental nature of the role of the Senate is that of a comple- mentary legislative body of sober second thought. Seeking what is best for Canada should always be our focus. To achieve that focus we need to nd new ways to better en- able our sober second thought. We believe that only a personal kind of par- tisanship one that reects each Senators core values and beliefs should be exercised in the Senate. Its the institutionalized partisan de- cision-making process that has settled in the Senate through the years and stymies sober second thought that needs to change. Institutionalized partisanship which is em- beddedintherulesandpracticesoftheSenate subtractsfromthewisdomandinsighteachindi- vidualSenatorcanbringtotheChamber.These rulesandpracticescementadversarialwin-lose discussionsandorientation.Therearemanyex- amplesofthisintheSenatebutitisthistypeof institutionalized partisanship that we oppose. Senatorsshouldinsteadbeseekingtobenet fromtheircolleaguesampleexpertiseandvalu- ableexperience.Weneedtobringtobearinthe study of each bill our life experiences and so- cialvaluesaswellasourpoliticalbeliefs.Weas Senatorseachofusinourownuniquecapacity areresponsibleforprovidingadecision-making processthatisinthebestinterestsofCanadians. Senatorsperhapsneedtoreectonwhythey becameaSenatorandworktorestorethevalue and recognition the Senate deserves. Failing to act will only allow the idea of Senate abolition to fester. We believe that abolition of the Sen- ate is not a viable option for Canada. The sea- to-sea-to-sea multicultural Federation that is Canada requires an upper house. If the Senate wereabolishedCanadianswouldneedtoinvent a new upper chamber in a short time. TheSenateonitsowncanachievesignicant changeandreformwithoutconstitutionalamend- ments.Itcandothisbybecomingmorerelevant toCanadians.ToregainthetrustofCanadians we must become less institutionally partisan in our decision-making and daily operations. By Paul J. Massicotte Liberal Senator for Quebec and Stephen Greene Conservative Senator for Nova Scotia. PhotocourtesyofRCMP The RCMP launch their PV Mackenzie a 2002 Zodiac Hurricane 920 in Hay River on July 7 as part of Operation Gateway. The annual maritime patrol of the Mackenzie River delta and coastal waters of the Beaufort Sea is scheduled to last 17 days conclud- ing in Tuktoyaktuk. The sovereignty community engagement and training exercise is running concurrently with Canadian Armed Forces Operation Nunakput. As of Monday evening the PV Mackenzie had reached Tsiigehtchic and is set to leave for Inuvik July 16.