Greenhouse idea takes root in Far North

Katherine O’Neill


July 17, 2012 – Globe and Mail

There’s nothing quite like the humid, so-thick-you-can-taste-it air of a teeming greenhouse – especially when it’s 40 degrees below freezing and you’re plunged in darkness for months.

That’s the kind of unlikely oasis planners want to bring to Canada’s hardest-to-feed communities. They have got their work cut out for them.

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Building the Arctic

Anna Mehler Paperny
Monday, August 17, 2009 – Globe and Mail
Billions of dollars have been pledged to develop Canada’s North, but in much of Nunavut, the most basic needs remain unaddressed, leaving the territory with ‘stone-age’ infrastructure

When Prime Minister Stephen Harper visits Pangnirtung, Nunavut, later this week, he’s sure to get a warm greeting. After all, his government is contributing $25-million to the 1,300-person community to build a new small-craft harbour aimed at bolstering the local fishing industry.

The harbour, whose designation as a “priority project” in the federal budget in January came as a welcome surprise for Pangnirtung, is an important plank in the Harper government’s commitment to building much-needed infrastructure in Nunavut.

But Monday, the Prime Minister arrives in Iqaluit, where the welcome may be a little cooler. There has so far been no infrastructure money to replace a gravel wharf in the 7,000-person territorial capital, where it takes up to a week for the most basic goods to be offloaded from boats bringing them in – “stone-age” infrastructure, as the territory’s transportation planning director calls it.

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Life on the mean streets of Iqaluit

Saturday, August 15, 2009

TORONTO and IQALUIT — RCMP had seen the boy before. Many times, in fact: Sometimes his parents would call the police and report that their son was missing; other times police would find the 10-year-old wandering the streets of Iqaluit at night, just to avoid going home.

They were used to bringing him back to his parents night after night, said Iqaluit RCMP Staff Sergeant Leigh Tomfohr.

“He just doesn’t like to stay at home. … He was just basically a runaway, if you want to call it that. They have a hard time containing him and keeping him at home.”

A photo of the boy, curled up asleep just a few feet from another 10-year-old, has sparked outrage in the Northern community, as well as a debate on just how extreme the region’s social problems are.

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The search for a vision to match Arctic vastness

Saturday, August 1, 2009 – Globe and Mail

Aaju Peter laughs when she recalls the sight confronting her when she moved to Iqaluit in 1981: Houses. A landing strip. A few stores. A school.

Then she pauses. Almost 30 years later, not much has changed.

“We have more houses and more stores. But I don’t think we have very much of a longer-term plan.”

There are inukshuks in Paris and Inuktitut script on federal government websites – once again, Canada’s northern residents are at the forefront of Ottawa’s Arctic sovereignty campaign.

But Canada’s final frontier is also its most development-starved: Between the contested underwater continental shelf and the Radarsat-2 satellite lie dozens of largely isolated communities that lack the transportation, housing and communication infrastructure needed to back up Ottawa’s claims of an inhabited Canadian Arctic.

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