Organizers are framing Justin Trudeau’s visit to the North this week as being about the people and not about politics.
"This is not intended to be a political trip but rather a personal trip," says David Malcolm, an organizer of the Inuvik leg of Trudeau’s tour and a member of the N.W.T. Liberal Association. "He wants to see what the North is like. Especially this time of year with the darkness of the winter in Inuvik."
Trudeau is scheduled to arrive in Inuvik on Friday with his seven year-old son, Xavier, and four staffers.
He’ll meet with Gwich'in and Inuvialuit leaders that afternoon and attend evening events for the Inuvik Sunrise Festival.
"He’s a very personable gentleman so I don’t think people need to be afraid to walk right up to him and say hello," Malcolm says.
Organizers are also hoping Trudeau will meet with the town’s mayor, Floyd Roland, and MLA Alfred Moses, but say there’s no "script of who he’s going to meet."
Malcolm, who also sits on the Liberal association’s policy committee, says people should expect Trudeau will give some sense of what a Liberal government in Ottawa could mean for the North.
"He's very interested in the fact that our cost of living up here is so great and that we are so dependent on outside goods and services. And in particular he's really concerned with food security and nutrition security," Malcolm says.
Trudeau will leave for Yellowknife Saturday afternoon. There, he’ll head to a $600 plate fundraiser that’s being advertised as a "unique and intimate time."
On Sunday, Trudeau will attend a roundtable on economic issues with community leaders, followed by a public meet and greet at 3 p.m. at the Explorer Hotel.
The Liberal leader will end his tour of the North in Iqaluit. The president of the Nunavut riding association, Michel Potvin, says they’re still finalizing the schedule of events.
Nunavut, N.W.T. candidates unnamed
The Liberal party has yet to announce who will run in the 2015 federal election in Nunavut and the N.W.T. In the Yukon, Larry Bagnell will run again for the Liberals.
In the 2011 general election, the Liberals failed to capture any seats in the North.
In the Yukon and Nunavut they captured less than 35 per cent of the total vote, and in the Western Arctic they only received 18 per cent of the total votes.