North

In Iqaluit, Trudeau announces plans to take Arctic communities off diesel but offers few details

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau arrived in Iqaluit Tuesday morning before noon local time, marking the first appearance of a federal leader in the territories during the 2019 election campaign.

Liberal leader arrived in Nunavut capital day after English federal leaders debate

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Iqaluit to talk to about climate change. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

Liberal leader Justin Trudeau arrived in Iqaluit Tuesday morning before noon local time, marking the first appearance of a federal leader in the territories during the 2019 election campaign.

Trudeau spoke to media at the Sylvia Grinnell Territorial Park's campground about the Liberal plan to address climate change. Alongside him was Nunavut liberal party candidate Megan Pizzo-Lyall, who did not speak at the campaign stop. 

Trudeau spoke about the importance of fighting climate change and the impact it is having in the Arctic. 

"What we will do is make life more affordable for people who need to fight climate change,"  Trudeau said in a speech to the media. 

On this trip to Iqaluit, Trudeau brought his kids along. He's also accompanied by Megan Pizzo-Lyall, Nunavut's Liberal candidate. (Jackie McKay/CBC)

Trudeau said the Liberals will help retrofit homes to make them more energy efficient, build a "economic ecosystem" to foster clean technology and innovation, and ensure all Indigenous communities are off diesel and are instead powered by clean "affordable energy" by the year 2030. 

Trudeau did not specify any details on how he would retrofit homes in the North to make them more energy efficient or how he plans to take northern communities off of diesel. 

"We made a very different choice than Conservative governments of the past in our choice to invest in communities as opposed to cuts and balancing the budget at all costs," Trudeau told CBC when asked how he would address mitigation measures needed in the Arctic. 

Trudeau said his government has invested in the North by giving money for housing and infrastructure. 

Trudeau last visited the territory in August to make funding announcements around marine protection and housing. His last visit to the territory lasted two days, and included a visit to Arctic Bay.

"I try to get to our beautiful North as often as I can," said Trudeau, who was in Iqaluit for about three hours before flying south. 

Trudeau visited the Iqaluit elders qammaq where he shook hands and briefly spoke with elders before heading to a fire in the back to meet with youth. 

Pizzo-Lyall did not give any further details to how the Liberals plan to get remote Northern communities off of diesel, but said the plan was "ambitious." 

Avianna Mackenzie lives in Iqaluit and came down to hear what Justin Trudeau's plans are for climate change and Indigenous people. (Jordan Konek/CBC)

Avianna Mackenzie, who lives in Iqaluit, came to the elders qammaq to ask Trudeau about his stance on climate change and how he plans to build relationships with Indigenous people. 

"I believe that they [issues raised by Inuit] aren't being heard, they are being listened to but they aren't doing much about it," said Mackenzie. 

Mackenzie said it is important for politicians to come to Nunavut, but added hasn't seen any political changes from Trudeau's visits. 

A Trudeau campaign manager said he is now headed to Toronto.

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