Northwest Territories a daily witness to climate change impact: premier

OTTAWA - The premier of the Northwest Territories doesn't see climate change as a ticking time bomb - in his part of the country, it's already gone off.

See Full Article

Canada's North is at the forefront of climate change and its effects can be seen with the naked eye on a daily basis, Bob McLeod said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Warmer temperatures have led to a host of changes, including a shifting tree line, problems with the territory's winter road network and significant impacts on the caribou population, McLeod said.

"I could go on and on," he said. "We have permafrost ... that's melting. It is affecting our buildings and our housing so we have to change our building techniques."

Climate change has also contributed to the disappearance of certain fish species, McLeod noted. "We are seeing wildlife species foreign to this area ... moving further north from the south like cougar and whitetail deer."

He also suggested the territory is at the mercy of outside efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"We are doing our part, but I mean, in the larger scheme of things, we are very small emitters of CO2 (carbon dioxide) gases," McLeod said.

"Obviously we are dependent on national and international actions to reduce the overall emissions of greenhouses gases."

McLeod said he looks forward to participating in upcoming discussions with the federal government as it prepares to hammer out a national climate change strategy along with the provinces and other territories.

"From all accounts, the prime minister has indicated that the government of Canada is going to take a much more active leadership role working ... closely with the provinces and territories, so I was heartened by that," he said.

"I was also heartened by the fact that Canada contributed significantly to help developing countries to deal with climate change. We are hopeful he will take the same approach with developing territories to help us deal with the effects of greenhouse gases that are largely not our own doing."

The annual average temperature has increased 1.6 degrees C, or twice the global average, since 1948, according to briefing documents prepared for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Canada's North has warmed by about three times the global average - a boost of 2.2 C, the documents note.

"I remember 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to make a presentation to a Senate committee on climate change," McLeod said. "I look back to some of things I talked about. Most of it has come true."

McLeod recalled a senator asking if he would be happy to see warmer temperatures in the North.

"I said 'No, the reason we live up here is because we like the cold weather and we like our four seasons," he said.

"So it is unnerving to ... have temperatures in the single digits in January ... you wonder what the world is coming to."



Advertisements

Latest Tech & Science News

  • Shipwreck found in Lake Erie could be nearly 200 years old

    Tech & Science CTV News
    TOLEDO, Ohio -- Shipwreck hunters are planning to excavate around a Lake Erie wreck this summer that they think could be the remains of a schooner that went down nearly two centuries ago. Its size, design and location point toward it being a sailing ship called the Lake Serpent, which sunk in 1829, the National Museum of the Great Lakes said Monday. Source
  • Census finds increase in Mekong River's Irrawaddy dolphins

    Tech & Science CTV News
    PHNOM PENH, Cambodia -- The number of critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins along a stretch of the Mekong River has increased for the first time in 20 years but the animals still face serious threats, Cambodia's government and a major conservation group said Monday. Source
  • New U.S. net neutrality rules come into effect today

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Net neutrality in the United States is officially over, as of today. In December, the Federal Communications Commission voted to change Obama-era rules that governed how major telecommunications companies treat data over the internet. That ruling comes into effect as of this morning. Source
  • Bloomberg gives $4.5M to UN climate body, softening U.S. cuts

    Tech & Science CTV News
    BERLIN -- Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $4.5 million to the United Nations body that oversees climate change negotiations. Bloomberg, who has long championed the fight against global warming, will make up the shortfall in the agency's budget caused by U.S. Source
  • Police try to unlock phone with dead man's finger at funeral home

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Florida authorities went to a funeral home and used a dead man's finger to try to unlock his cellphone as part of their investigation. Thirty-year-old Linus Phillip was killed by a Largo police officer last month after authorities say he tried to drive away before an officer could search him. Source
  • How patio furniture and fence posts might solve N.S.'s plastic recycling woes

    Tech & Science CBC News
    A Halifax-area company says it has a made-in-Nova Scotia solution to the challenge of recycling plastics — turn shopping bags into fence posts and patio furniture. Municipalities across the province have scrambled to find new markets for recycled plastic after China stopped accepting the material last year. Source
  • 'Every plant and animal is useful to us': Indigenous professor re-thinking how we deal with invasive species

    Tech & Science CBC News
    When invasive species show up, Western science tells us they should be dealt with. But Nicholas Reo wonders whether we should instead ask why they're here in the first place. Reo, an anthropology professor at Dartmouth College, researches how invasive species mitigation could be approached differently — and as a citizen of the Sault Ste. Source
  • Police try to unlock phone with dead man's finger in Florida

    Tech & Science CTV News
    LARGO, Fla. - Florida authorities went to a funeral home and used a dead man's finger to try to unlock his cellphone as part of their investigation. Thirty-year-old Linus Phillip was killed by a Largo police officer last month after authorities say he tried to drive away before an officer could search him. Source
  • New Brunswick Liberal calling for study on Canada's endangered whales

    Tech & Science CTV News
    FREDERICTON -- A New Brunswick member of Parliament is calling for a federal study to take a closer look at the state of Canada's endangered whales. Karen Ludwig, the Liberal member for New Brunswick Southwest, has tabled a private member's bill that is expected to be debated in the House of Commons on Monday. Source
  • The dark art of finding who's hooting the night away in Manitoba forests

    Tech & Science CBC News
    Christian Artuso packs a long-lens camera and binoculars into the car just in case, but it's his headlamp and ears that will really come in handy when trying to locate elusive owls in the dark in eastern Manitoba. "We probably won't see very much," Artuso says. Source