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October 16, 2013 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Inuit Leader Terry Audla, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) welcomed commitments to resource development and northern sovereignty contained in the Speech from the Throne delivered earlier this evening.
“I was very pleased to note themes of partnership and developing healthy, prosperous, self-sufficient communities that are very much in line with discussions by Inuit leaders this summer with Prime Minister Harper and senior cabinet ministers,” Audla said.
A section of the speech on Canada’s Northern Sovereignty describes the government’s plans to open the Canadian High Arctic Research Station in time for the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017 and ensure that Canada’s first deep water Arctic port at Nanisivik will be operational in time for the arrival of a fleet of new offshore patrol ships.
The speech also signals a commitment to responsible resource development and training that will allow Inuit and First Nations to “take their full place in this new economy,” higher safety standards and higher liability insurance requirements for development companies, and continued support for the seal hunt.
“I noted very brief mentions to housing and expanding broadband internet capability and I hope to see more detailed references to these crucial issues, specifying programs for Inuit Nunangat, in the 2014 federal budget.”
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