Understanding the North
Learning by seeing

Kim Barraclough
Northern News Services

NNSL (Aug 09/99) - A recent tour of the North has put the Arctic Caucus more in touch with the issues faced in Northern Canada.

So says caucus member Carolyn Bennett, the member of parliament for St. Paul's, Ont.

The group of six MPs from Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec spent from July 13-18 in the Northwest Territories.

"It was great," said Bennett.

"You just realize you're talking to the best people -- there's such pride," Bennett added.

Bennett said the trip opened the caucus' eyes to what is taking place in the North.

"There is a real growth for the future."

Bennett explained that tours such as this gives the caucus more information about the North and better prepares them to help other caucus members.

"It actually takes us getting up to the North," said Bennett.

Bennett said she thought the trip was a success.

"We spoke to such amazing people."

She added that making the trip gave the caucus a chance to find out first-hand what the people of the North want.

"Solutions tend to come from the grassroots."

The tour began in Yellowknife and next moved on to Fort Simpson, then it was on to Inuvik and Holman. The group also travelled to Tuktoyuktuk and Hershel Island.

The Arctic Caucus is made up of several MPs who are interested in the North and its issues. It is a fairly informal committee that helps the North's MPs have a stronger voice. Last summer the caucus travelled to the Eastern Arctic.