Though Canada Day has come and gone, there's still a good reason to keep the good feelings alive. On July 9th, Nunavut will be celebrating its 23rd birthday and the rest of our country is invited to join in the festivities. Not only will it mark a special day for our youngest territory, but it will also laud the people who have lived the longest in this great land.
In the territories, nearly one in five households has trouble getting enough food to eat. In Nunavut, this figure rises to half of all households -- a truly staggering number. This situation is the result of many factors, including the high cost of food and very high rates of poverty, particularly within indigenous communities. The effects of the residential school trauma, decreasing access to traditional foods, and the high cost of hunting add complexity to the problem.
While world events may have factored into Canadian's decisions to stay local, I'd like to think it had more to do with the fact that more of us are choosing to discover just how amazing this country really is. There are so many things to do in Canada and while you may think you've heard of them all, here are some that don't get the attention they deserve.
It's World Tuberculosis Day, and this year it will be marked with the sad distinction that we have allowed this preventable, curable disease to become the world's biggest infectious killer. The millennia-old disease tuberculosis (TB) now outranks even HIV/AIDS in the number of lives it claims, at over 1.5 million a year. With leading experts predicting that by 2050 evolving strains of drug-resistant TB could claim an additional 75 million lives worldwide -- costing the global economy $16.7 trillion -- the need for immediate action is clear.
After years of steady, but slow, steps in nature conservation, our collective stride seems to have lengthened in 2015. We still need to act on commitments to create more terrestrial and marine protected areas. We still have Canadian species that are at risk of disappearing. We still have parks and protected areas that need to be buffered and better connected.
The government of Nunavut adjusted the January 1, 2015 moratorium on caribou hunting on Baffin Island to allow for a hunt of 250 male caribou. WWF does not support this adjustment and is urging the government to consider a precautionary approach to caribou management on Baffin Island until numbers recover enough to allow for a sustainable harvest.
For over two years now, I've been living in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut and site of one of this year's northernmost Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup events! Part of the reason why there was so much garbage to collect along the main route is that Iqaluit is in desperate need for more public garbage and recycling bins. There are less than a handful along the main route through town.