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Ethel backs Martin

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (May 02/03) - Devolution and resource revenue sharing, as well as getting a pipeline up and running, are issues Ethel Blondin-Andrew thinks are the most important facing the Western Arctic.

"They imply everything else," said the Western Arctic Liberal MP, who has thrown her support behind Paul Martin in the Liberal leadership race.

"If you undertake a pipeline and do it with regard to the most current policies, you will know that project will be sustainable," she said.

Improving highways and getting a better formula financing agreement with the federal government are also key points Blondin-Andrew hopes percolate to the top during leadership talks.

Blondin-Andrew said Martin "recognizes the unique circumstances of the North. We feel we have a friend in him. I think he really understands the potential of the North."

Blondin-Andrew was asked if there is any move to change that imbalance of Northern representation in the House, since so few Northerners occupying seats in the House of Commons.

She bristled at the question, but said: "We have very good leadership in the North. We have brought the message to Ottawa. But there are certain realities. We have a small population of 46,000. Our strength is the resources we have. I don't think making a lot of noise is what it's all about.