Email this articleE-mail this story  Discuss this articleWrite letter to editor  Discuss this articleOrder a classified ad  Print this page

For, against and in between

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Dec 12/05) - Marina Sabourin is torn about where she stands on the Mackenzie Valley pipeline issue, but a youth forum is giving her the information she needs to make a choice.

"I think the pipeline will be bad for the environment, but a good opportunity for employment in the Northwest Territories," she said.

Sabourin, a Grade 10 student at Deh Gah school, is representing Fort Providence at the recent Your Land, Your Future youth forum held in Yellowknife.

The forum's goal is to introduce students to a range of opinions about the pipeline project held by a variety of organizations and businesses, said Mindy Willett, event organizer.

"I would like to see engaged, informed youth," Willett said.

To achieve this goal 23 students representing every region in the Northwest Territories are hearing presentations by organizations including the Mackenzie Gas Project Producers Group, Ecology North, the GNWT pipeline readiness office, the Aboriginal Pipeline Group and Great Slave Helicopters.

"The over all goal is to get kids to think of all the perspectives," said Willett.

The students also have a range of opinions.

Taylor Fraser, a Grade 11/12 student at the Chief Albert Wright school in Tulita, opposes the pipeline.

"The damage to the land could be permanent and the money we get can't recover that," Fraser said.

At the forum, Fraser learned about how much land will be needed for the camps, pipeline and roads, something he didn't know before.

"It's made my opinion stronger and now I have more things to speak about," said Fraser.

On the other side of the issue is Kimberly Joss, a Grade 10 student from Helen Kalvak school in Holman.

Listening to the presentations at the forum made Joss change her mind about the pipeline.

"Coming here and hearing about the pipeline I support it because it's going to create jobs and money for the people," said Joss.

"Before I thought it was a waste of time and money."