The northern regions of Canada are out of sight and out of mind for the majority of Canadians.
Northerners do not simply seek lower prices, but also raised awareness; the success of recent protests is that now, finally, people outside Nunavut are taking notice of the daily realities of life here, beyond the ordinary frontiers of the southern imagination.
It’s a rough area. Cold, remote, expensive. Delivering goods and services across such a distance is difficult. As a result, the native populations in Nunavut are coping with super-high prices. Two examples: Cabbages are $20. Packs of bottled water are $100.
How do we fix this?
In the long term, I think the only solution is for us to push further north – away from the 401 highway and away from the American border.
As population density increases in northern territories, we’ll start to see more investment in the infrastructure that connects our communities. We’re already seeing the early signs of this, with investigations into regular rail (GO Train) service between Toronto and Peterborough, Ontario.
Developing the core of our nation can be done sustainably. If we do it right, I think it could lead to creating more jobs, a healthier economy, and a stronger Canada. We can’t fix the problems in the north right away, but we can start taking the right steps now.