FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. -MP for Prince George–Peace River–Northern Rockies Bob Zimmer took a trip to Iqaluit, Nunavut, this summer to tour a coast guard ship and meet with local leaders.

Zimmer, also the Conservative Party of Canada’s shadow minister for Northern Affairs and Arctic Sovereignty, made the journey to witness life in the northern reaches of the nation himself.

“I have always said that in order to fully appreciate the issues facing those living in the North, you must see it for yourself and speak directly with those who are facing these challenges and opportunities head-on,” Zimmer said. 

“Similar to my trips to Whitehorse before the pandemic and to Inuvik in June, I wanted to speak with those who are being directly affected by the decisions made in Ottawa.”  

To properly appreciate the issues that communities face in the region and get a sense of the area, Zimmer met with several local leaders, including the premier of Nunavut, P.J. Akeeagok, and other business, community, and territorial leaders. 

While in Iqaluit, the capital of Nunavut on the shore of the Arctic Ocean, Zimmer took a tour of the Henry Larsen, a Canadian Coast Guard Icebreaker ship, and coast guard facilities in the area. He also met senior staff of the ship.

“I was given a comprehensive tour of what our Coast Guard does in the Arctic, what some of the many challenges are in changing ice conditions, along with what is needed to continue to be effective in our Polar Region,” said Zimmer. 

Of the multifaceted work done by the coast guard in the oceans on Canada’s upper coastline, Zimmer said he learned a lot about cutting ice for supply ships and other traffic, responding to distress calls, and seabed mapping.

Zimmer said he plans to highlight the issues faced by the far north discussed during this trip in the House of Commons and thanked those he visited for welcoming them.

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Grace Giesbrecht

Grace Giesbrecht is a news reporter for who recently graduated from Trinity Western University with a bachelor of arts in Media + Communications. She was born and raised just outside of Fort St. John. She began reporting for her university’s student newspaper and interned with Ottawa Life Magazine where she developed a passion for asking questions, telling stories, and the written word. In her free time, you can find her drinking coffee, snowboarding, or reading novels.