Saturday, 23 November 2013


A Message from Dennis Bevington, MP Western Arctic
The more equal everyone is the better off we all are. The evidence of this is well documented in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better.1 With our history of sharing and working cooperatively in the NWT, we know that this is true. We know that equality helps us all to be more secure, safer, healthier, and able to fully participate in our families and communities. We also know that equality builds resilience so we can cope with, and manage change - changes in our climate, our environment, and our social and economic circumstances.
Throughout Canada including the NWT, our communities are becoming less equal. The gap between 'haves' and 'have nots' is growing. Inequalities put us all at risk.
A main factor contributing to inequalities in the NWT is living costs. As Member of Parliament for the Western Arctic, I am committed to addressing inequalities and improving quality of life in ways that are sustainable and make sense for everyone. With this report, I want to stimulate changes that will eliminate inequalities in our communities, throughout the north, and between northern and southern Canada.
I have prepared this report to highlight cost of living issues in the Western Arctic but these circumstances are generally mirrored throughout remote regions in Canada. As such, I trust that both residents of the NWT and my colleagues in the House of Commons will find this report both informative and useful.
This report is organized to:
- Identify the inequalities created by income and cost of living,
- Examine current responses to cost of living issues in the NWT, and
- Propose actions to deal with cost of living issues.
The GNWT Bureau of Statistics was a main data source. Information produced by the NWT No Place for Poverty Coalition2 was also referenced. This report also draws on information from northerners who made time to voice their concerns and share their research.
1    Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, published in 2009 by Allen
2    About 30 social justice, municipal, women's, church, union, environmental, and indigenous
organizations are part of the Coalition.

Yellowknife, NWT
November 23, 2 013
Despite having one of the highest rates of GDP growth of any-Canadian jurisdiction, Northern communities are experiencing an increase in inequality and in the number of people living in poverty.
NDP MP Dennis Bevington's (Western Arctic) report, Tackling the Cost of Living in the NWT examined socioeconomic patterns in the region over the last 10 years and found a growing gap between the "haves" and the "have-nots."
"As MP for this region, I am committed to addressing inequalities and improving quality of life in practical and sustainable ways," said Bevington. "The proposals in this report will help stimulate change and eliminate disparities in communities throughout the north; as well as between northern and southern Canada."
The report was produced with the assistance of Lutra Associates of Yellowknife, the NWT Bureau of Statistics, House of Commons Library and people across the north.
"I am pleased that Dennis Bevington has taken steps to address this important issue. The results for the NWT are indicative of a situation that affects communities across the country," said the leader of the Official Opposition Tom Mulcair.
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For more information, please contact:
Ben Nind, Constituency Assistant
Office of Dennis Bevington MP (Western Arctic)
(867) 669-8817

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