Premier Roland responds to U.S. arctic policy, says Canadian action needed now

    YELLOWKNIFE, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - Premier Roland has forcefully responded to a
new United States Presidential Directive regarding the Arctic, saying that the
Canadian federal government must take immediate action to develop Canada's
North and assert Canadian sovereignty over arctic lands and resources.
    "This new Presidential Directive is the latest signal that other nations
have set their eyes on the North, and recognize its potential and its
importance," said Premier Roland. "Canada can no longer afford to maintain a
passive approach to our Northern interests. Empty rhetoric will not secure our
    Premier Roland called on the federal government to undertake robust,
meaningful investment in Canada's Northern development, starting with the
upcoming federal budget.
    "Prime Minister Harper has often said we either 'use it or lose it' when
it comes to the North," emphasized Premier Roland. "Now is the perfect time to
invest in building Canada's North. It will create thousands of jobs for
Canadians, foster decades of economic growth for our country, and make it
clear to the world that Canada takes its arctic interests seriously."
    Northerners have long been important stewards of Canada's North. The NWT
is home to abundant natural resources, including oil, natural gas, precious
minerals and hydroelectric potential. The 16th Legislative Assembly is
committed to developing NWT resources in ways that will strengthen Northern
communities while bolstering Canada's sovereignty over arctic lands and
    Premier Roland said that the U.S. Presidential Directive serves as a
warning that Canada must act quickly to secure its arctic interests before
other countries do so.
    "It is time for the federal government to back up its rhetoric with real
dollars and tangible actions - build the roads to resources that we need, and
push forward on major resources projects in the North," said Premier Roland.
"If we fail to act today, Canada's strength will be compromised, and we will
lose out on the most important opportunity in generations."

For further information:

For further information: Julia Mott, Cabinet Communications, Office of
the Premier, Government of the Northwest Territories, (867) 669-2304, (867)
445-5669 cell,

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