Arctic Issues

Senator Dennis Patterson 

Feds say info to be released on launch of Northern policy framework ‘in coming weeks”

By Tim Edwards – June 30, 2019

Senator Dennis Patterson 

Parliament has never before had a committee dedicated to studying the Arctic, a region garnering increasing global attention. 

Senator Dennis Patterson 

Canada is the only Arctic nation without a university specifically within the Arctic itself, which means Canada is lagging behind,  says Conservative Senator Dennis Patterson.

Senator Dennis Patterson 

These bills create a web of legislation that could negatively impact the future economic viability of the North without allowing for northerners to make those decisions for themselves. 

Senator Dennis Patterson 

Creation of the new special committee required compromise via an agreement to make the group temporary, says its deputy chair. 

Senator Dennis Patterson

Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott began a two-day emergency meeting on child welfare in Ottawa Thursday by saying she was not there to assign blame.

As well, Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson appeared on N2N.

He talked about a new Senate committee on the Arctic that will start when Parliament resumes next week.

Also, he will soon be visiting all 25 communities in Nunavut, to get feedback on everything from food security to oil and gas to development and concerns over the upcoming legalization of marijuana.

Patterson said this is being done ahead of Ottawa’s work on a new Arctic policy.

“It’s really important that residents of the Arctic have input into the development of this arctic policy by our federal government,” he said.

Senator Dennis Patterson

Eighteen years after its formal transition into a separate territory — Nunavut’s shield finally joined, on December 13 2017, those of Canada’s other provinces and territories on the refurbished Centennial Flame on Parliament Hill.

For Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson, seeing the shield take its rightful place was an emotional end to a long political journey

Senator Dennis Patterson

La glace dans l’Arctique est en déclin constant depuis 1979. Si cette tendance se poursuit, les grandes étendues d’eau de l’Arctique seront libres de glace durant les mois d’été. Ces changements entraînent une importante augmentation du trafic de bateaux de … 

Senator Dennis Patterson

“Canada is at serious risk of losing control and sovereignty over its Arctic”



The ice in Canada’s Arctic has been steadily melting since 1979. If this trend continues, large swaths of Arctic waters are expected to be free of ice altogether during the summer months.

These changes are leading to a significant increase in cruise ship, tanker and supply vessel traffic in the Northwest Passage, which is concentrated mainly in the easternmost waters of Nunavut.

Senator Dennis Patterson

The ice in Canada’s Arctic has been steadily melting since 1979. If this trend continues, large swaths of Arctic waters are expected to be free of ice altogether during the summer months…

Senator Dennis Patterson

But we need to make sure that we are investing smartly and taking the voice of northerners into account.

Read the rest of my Op-Ed, published in the Hill Times on October 25, 2017 here.

Establish permanent place for military in Nunavut

Senator Dennis Patterson

Nunavut was given a voice when the largest defence policy review in 20 years was gathering input from ordinary Canadians last week.

Nunavut Sen. Dennis Patterson hosted a round table discussion, with comments received to be added to a formal submission.

We’re hoping the perspective from the top of Canada doesn’t get lost among the more than 20,200 submissions to the online consultation portal and more than 4,700 contributions to the virtual discussion forum. 

Defence review highlights Arctic sovereignty

Senator Dennis Patterson

Nunavummiut chimed in on Canada’s new defence policy last month when Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson hosted a round table discussion in Iqaluit before making a formal submission to a Defence Policy review on July 29.

“Inuit are an important voice in all Canadian issues and I wanted to ensure that their input on Arctic security and sovereignty was given special attention,” Patterson stated in a news release.

Conference to measure ‘Project Nunavut’

Senator Dennis Patterson

A high-level conference to be held at the Southway Hotel in Ottawa Feb. 4 and 5 will examine how “Project Nunavut” – a term coined by Thomas Berger – is faring 15 years after the formation of the territory.

The conference, entitled Nunavut at 15: Taking Stock of Nunavut’s Political, Social, Economic and Policy Developments Since 1999, is organized by the Northern Institute for Policy and Law, a private educational and research organization based in Iqaluit.

Not welcome at the big table

Senator Dennis Patterson

Elected to a third term as MLA for his Iqaluit riding in the 1987 territorial election, Dennis Patterson was then elected government leader.

He recalls the role devolution played back then in measured tones, until he gets to his memory of a First Ministers Conference, where the country’s provincial premiers gather to discuss mutual issues with the prime minister of the day. 

Conservative caucus visiting city

Senator Dennis Patterson

Members of the Northern Conservative caucus are scheduled to be in Yellowknife on Monday and Tuesday to meet with government leaders and gather insight into issues that affect the territory, according to Northern caucus chair Dennis Patterson, senator for Nunavut.

Senator takes issue with environmentalist finances

Senator Dennis Patterson

Foreign money is “flooding” into this country to influence public policy in Canada and the North, said Nunavut Senator Dennis Patterson late last month, adding this country does not need foreign aid.

Patterson made the comments during a debate on the interference of foreign donations in Canada’s domestic affairs and their abuse of Revenue Canada charitable status on March 29 in the senate. In his argument, he noted the phenomenon in the environmental sector.

Book launched – History of the Legislative Assembly documented

Senator Dennis Patterson

There’s a new must-read book for anyone interested in the history of the NWT legislature.

History in the Making: Under Northern Skies is the name of a new coffee-table book edited Nancy Gardiner.

The book chronicles councils and assemblies dating back to 1951, as well as sections explaining the role of the pages, the sergeant-at-arms and the Speaker of the house.

Northerners such as Michael Ballantyne, Tony Whitford and Dennis Patterson all contributed sections and were on hand for a book launch and dinner at the legislative assembly on Sept. 6.