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Greens would stop pipeline

Mike W. Bryant
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Jan 16/06) - A Green Party government would halt construction of the Mackenzie Valley pipeline to the south, and instead use the NWT's supply of natural gas to heat Northern homes, said Green Party candidate Alex Beaudin.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Alex Beaudin
Party: Green Party of Canada
Age: 25
Occupation: Photographer and glass worker
Marital status: Single
Place of birth: Montreal, Quebec
Place of residence: Yellowknife

Jobs created by the pipeline would only be short-term, and his party fears the gas would be used by oil companies in refineries to extract oil from Fort McMurray's tar sands.

"I don't see tons of benefits for the North here," said Beaudin.

"Basically, they're going to take the gas and send it down south. The federal government will make some money, but not the NWT."

Beaudin encourages the NWT to use "green" initiatives to supply the Territories' energy needs, such as wind power generators and small hydro-electric plants for communities.

If any natural gas is extracted in the Territories it should go right back into NWT communities, he said.

Beaudin said he believes the three top issues for the NWT are securing a devolution agreement, health and education. First Nations must be the central players to any devolution agreement, said Beaudin.

"We believe they should get the money back from the resources that are exploited from their land," said Beaudin.

On health, the Greens would focus on preventative programs to ensure healthy lifestyles.

"Making programs to make sure people make physical exercise and eating well the necessary tools to keep themselves healthy," said Beaudin.

On education, Beaudin said the federal government should do more to encourage cultural programs for aboriginal residents and lower tuition for university students.

"There could be an aboriginal study program where people could go and study their culture and actually learn their traditions and how to manage their land," said Beaudin.