I was dumbfounded when I read in the Gazette that two new hydroelectric projects were signed off by our Inuit brothers and sisters to the North. Nunavik is to be exploited for hydro electric power, which is to be sent down to the south. On the recent aftermath of the signing of the AIP where not a word was said of further development in the north, our Inuit counterparts do the same tango with the province as we did. Tit for tat, I presume. I thought I was going to be untouched in the far northern regions where I now reside, but I was sorely wronged in my presumptuous comfort. Landry two, aboriginals zero. The score rests in the coming years as the game of economy is played to the end in overtime as we attempt to even the odds within twenty five to fifty years.
Another thought had occurred to me, a pending doom and disaster overshadowed my often smiled and laughter wrinkled face, the news that an asteroid is heading towards earth. It is expected to arrive close within the next twenty-eight years. Darn, I think, not enough time to spend 3.5 billion. Could we get an advance please, Mr. Landry? Is there enough money to build a new ark to take our people out of harms way? Sometimes, I wish I wasn’t so damn interested in the sciences to learn about outer space and the airless dangers that lurk between here and Mars. But who cares, we’re rich anyways.
Money can buy comfort and homes, build businesses and restore confidence in the stock markets, perhaps enough to make the Looney worth its weight in copper. Money can do strange things to people, strange and powerful enough to make politicians to sacrifice the environmental lamb for the almighty dollar. Pbwerful enough to sacrifice the future of the land and the animals that inhabit the woods and the fish that swim the now turgid and murky waters of the nouchmi eennou. I, in my own self confidence, thought that technology and development could not reach the far north, that the frigid 55th parallel was strong enough to hold back any snowbird’s wish to spend the winter, but I was dead wrong.
Perhaps the jobs that do come out of the agreements will make an economical difference in our communities, but many social issues must be addressed in a fashion that will be different than how we did things in the past. The mighty talleyman’s role of beaver counter will have to change to land manager, the schools role will have to change from babysitting to education, the municipal’s roles will have to convert from spending to conserving and the people role will have to convert from pacifism to activism and development.
In many ways, development can be good for the economy and for the people who benefit should be from the communities, but in some weird way, I have this funny feeling that the status quo of operating will be predominantly acceptable and sublimely obvious (excuse the oxymoron).
Perhaps this is the way of the future… life after A.I.P.
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