PM Harper uses Twitter to announce six-day northern tour
PM to visit Whitehorse, Hay River, Gjoa Haven, Rankin Inlet, and Nunavik
(Updated 3:44 p.m., Aug. 16)
Prime Minister Stephen Harper dispensed with standard media advisories Aug. 16 and used the social network Twitter to announce this year’s version of his annual northern tour, which will take him from Whitehorse to Nunavik over six days starting Aug. 18.
“On Sunday I’ll be embarking on a six day long tour of Canada’s north,” Harper said in a tweet posted around 10:50 a.m eastern time Aug. 16.
Harper will visit Nunavut Aug. 21 and Aug. 22, in a trip that includes stops in Gjoa Haven and Rankin Inlet, where Harper will attend a community feast.
The Kivalliq Inuit Association in Rankin Inlet plans to host the feast at the community hall for Harper and his entourage on Aug. 22, a local organizer confirmed, which marks the prime minister’s first visit to Nunavut’s second biggest community.
Hamlet officials said representatives of Inuit organizations from Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are expected to arrive in the community that same week.
These include officials from Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Inuvialuit Regional Corp.
“Nobody knows what he’s going to announce,” hamlet councillor Harry Towtongie said of the PM’s visit. “They asked me to be there, but they didn’t say what it’s about.”
Harper will arrive in Rankin Inlet from Gjoa Haven, where he will meet Canadian Rangers.
The visit to federal environment minister and Nunavut MP Aglukkaq’s home community coincides with a military exercise near the community that is part of the Canadian Armed Force’s 2013 Operation Nanook military exercise.
In a series of tweets, Harper set out most of his itinerary:
• Aug. 18, Whitehorse
• Aug. 19, 20: Hay River
• Aug. 21: Gjoa Haven
• Aug. 22: Rankin Inlet
• Aug. 23: northern Quebec, likely Nunavik’s Raglan nickel mine
Twitter users can find the prime minister’s Twitter account at this address: @pmharper.
In a media advisory sent out later in the day Aug. 16, the prime minister’s office said Aglukkaq, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister Bernard Valcourt, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Yukon MP Ryan Leef will travel with Harper on the northern tour.
“On my eighth annual tour of the Arctic, I look forward to speaking to northerners about our resolute commitment to defending our sovereignty, while investing and creating the conditions for economic development, skills training and job creation,” Harper said in the advisory.
Harper has visited the northern territories every summer since 2006, the year he first became prime minister and leader of what was then a minority Conservative government.
He last visited Nunavik in 2008, when he helped celebrate the Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement and helped open the new Kuujjuaq airport.
With files from Peter Varga