Aglukkaq sends wrong message to the Arctic Council

Dear editor,

Last month the Arctic Council met in Iqaluit.

Our representative, Leona Aglukkaq, federal Minister of the Environment and outgoing chair of the council, had a strong message for Russia about its intervention in the Ukraine.

It was the wrong message, at the wrong time, by the wrong person—especially from the first ever Inuit woman cabinet minister.

Thanks to the media,  when people around the world picture the Arctic they see collapsing icebergs, rising oceans, stranded polar bears, the melting permafrost and the release of huge amounts of methane into the atmosphere.  They expect Canada to respond to challenges in our own Arctic.

I’ve worked in almost every Nunavut community. They depend upon hunting and fishing.  They sit on the edge of the ocean, just up from the beach behind their boats. With rising seas many of those communities will disappear. One would have expected at least a passing reference to climate change – especially from Ms. Aglukkaq.

So why was this the wrong message? Because, with an upcoming federal election, the right message, was Russia’s intervention in the Ukraine. Environment and climate change are not big with much of the conservative base. But tough-guy talk on Russia certainly is.

Last year Ms. Aglukkaq told the United Nations that Canada is a world leader in clean energy. Last week, to howls from the opposition in the House, she said, “No previous federal budget has done more for the environment than the one delivered this week by the Conservative Government.” Our British friends would call those statements “porkies.”

Fortunately the Chair of the Arctic Council has passed to the U.S. and to John Kerry. He declared climate change his highest priority.

As a Canadian I am embarrassed to see our carbon colonizing dictator sending his environment minister to the Arctic Council to cast an absentee ballot for the Canadian Arctic.

Mike Bell

Comox

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

More than 22,000 blood donors needed

Canadian Blood Services is urging Canadians to help meet patients’ needs this… Continue reading

Kiyoshi Kosky running for Courtenay City Council

I am Kiyoshi Kosky and am running in the upcoming Courtenay Municipal… Continue reading

Updated: ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin has died

Publicist Gwendolyn Quinn reports Franklin passed Thursday at 9:50 a.m. at her home in Detroit

Independent Investivations Office looking into Sayward crash

An incident in which a vehicle under RCMP scrutiny crashed near Sayward… Continue reading

Search for mudslide victim becomes recovery mission

Valerie Morris was swept away by a mudslide on Highway 99 near Cache Creek on August 11.

Comox Valley volleyball star to play in Bulgaria

Brad Gunter plays on Canada’s senior A team

Behind the fire line: B.C. firefighters stalked by cougars

A Keremeos volunteer firefighter talks about what it was like to patrol the Snowy Mountain fire

Woman in custody after topless crane climb near Toronto waterfront

Toronto police have apprehend a woman who climbed crane cab near waterfront

‘Hot and dirty work:’ Commander describes fighting massive Ontario wildfire

Ontario has seen more than 1,000 forest fires so far this year, compared to 561 in all of 2017.

‘Billion-piece jigsaw puzzle:’ Canadians key to 1st complete map of wheat genome

The paper has 202 authors from 73 research agencies in 20 countries.

70 years after Babe Ruth’s death, fans still flock to grave

After Ruth died of throat cancer at age 53, tens of thousands of fans came to pay respects

Most Read