Layton sledding for northern votes
Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2005 | 11:14 AM ET
"I'm as excited as a kid right now," Layton said before heading onto Great Slave Lake. "Ed Broadbent told me what it's like to be in a winter campaign: he says you've got to get on a dogsled, so that's what we're going to do."
Layton arrived in the city in the Northwest Territories on Wednesday, hoping to boost the chances NDP candidate Dennis Bevington can defeat Ethel Blondin-Andrew. The Liberal incumbent has held the western Arctic riding since 1988.
NDP Leader Jack Layton takes a dogsled ride with sled owner Grant Beck in Yellowknife, Wednesday, Dec. 23. (CP Photo/Chuck Stoody)
- RIDING PROFILE: Western Arctic
But in 2004, the NDP lost by just 53 votes.
The trip to the North comes a day after Layton released the NDP aboriginal peoples platform in Winnipeg.
NDP native people's critic Pat Martin said the 12-point plan, which is short on specifics, would cost money and that the $5-billion agreement signed last month is just a start.
"I represent the poorest riding in Canada," Martin said. "And I can tell you overwhelmingly the face of poverty in Winnipeg Centre is Indian. And that's by design and neglect. We're saying enough is enough. Canada doesn't move forward unless we move forward together and we're not going to leave aboriginal people behind in the wake of our prosperity."
Layton goes to Edmonton later on Thursday.
Liberal Leader Paul Martin is in Ottawa all day. He'll spend part of the day giving year-end interviews as prime minister.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper announced his plan to boost Arctic defence on Thursday.
Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Québécois is in Longeuil.
The Green party's Jim Harris is spending the day in Victoria.