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.
Last week, the Yukon Court of Appeal heard arguments about the future of the massive Peel River watershed, and about the meaning and application of modern aboriginal treaties. Will this land be mostly protected from development, as the planning commission decided after extensive aboriginal consultation? Or will it mostly be used for resource extraction, as the Yukon government wants? So soon after the report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, will First Nations interests again be sacrificed for the economic gain of others?
Stepping out onto a street in Dawson City feels like you're on the set of a snowy western movie. Born during the Yukon gold rush, Dawson City is a charming community with historical sites for tourists, pristine wilderness for the outdoor adventurer and breathtaking beauty for the amateur photographer in all of us.
In Dawson City, one step away from the arctic circle, we are working to promote more local food production. Here, more than anywhere else, food matters. We are at the end of the road and conditions are quite crude. Food here is expensive, but mostly fresh, which is already a huge improvement compared to 100 years ago.
It was a chilly but clear evening (-35 degrees Celsius) when we got on the tour bus in Whitehorse, Yukon. The tour was for the viewing of the spectacular northern lights, an atmospheric phenomenon that is best viewed under certain environmental conditions during certain periods of the year at certain locations in the northern hemisphere.
A group of Canadian businessmen has obtained the blessing of Alaskan tribes and Canadian First Nations to build a railroad through their lands that could carry up to five million barrels per day from the oil sands to the super tanker port in Valdez, Alaska. This is truly a nation-building project that must be seriously evaluated by all governments and the oil industry.
This month I visited the northernmost region in my riding, Nunavik, and met with people from all walks of life there. Trips like those give you a real reality check that some politicians go out of their way to avoid. Last week the Prime Minister had a chance to begin listening to the people of the North, but instead he stayed inside his bubble. Clearly, this is work that Conservatives cannot properly do.