Sheila Watt-Cloutier is one of the most widely respected political figures to emerge from Canada's Arctic, and this potential was identified early on. When she was just 10 years old, she and her friend Lizzie were selected as promising future Inuit leaders and sent to live with a white family in the tiny coastal community of Blanche, N.S. Having grown up in Nunavik, Que., on dog sleds and in canoes, the young Watt-Cloutier loved new experiences and approached the long voyage south in the spirit of adventure. The girls were in for what Watt-Cloutier now describes as a "brutal shock."
Canadians are concerned about the impact of resource extraction on land and the irreversible destruction of precious ecosystems. Rural towns across the country are dealing with these issues of land use.
The Wheeler commission on fracking did its due diligence under difficult circumstances, except for the part where it further warped an already unhinged debate. It did this by toying with scenarios and declaring that even the middling one would provide a billion dollars a year in economic benefits, and royalties in the hundreds of millions a year for decades.
So the hyper-questionable idea will remain afoot, fracking ban or not: we are sitting on a fortune that we are too backward and obtuse to develop.