The territories remain one of the last frontiers in Canada, with vast and often untapped potential in natural resources, defense, and shipping routes. As the federal government develops their Arctic Policy Framework, hear from two of the territorial Premiers about their plans for developing the north, and how they’re helping to build a strong Canada.
The Promise and Potential of the Canadian Arctic
Hon. Robert R. McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories
Robert R. McLeod was re-elected to the 18th Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories on November 23, 2015, his third consecutive term representing the constituents of Yellowknife South.
During the 17th Legislative Assembly, Mr. McLeod served as Premier, Minister of Executive, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations, Minister Responsible for Women and Minister Responsible for New Energy Initiatives.
During the 16th Legislative Assembly, Mr. McLeod served as Minister of Human Resources, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment, Minister Responsible for the Public Utilities Board, Lead Minister on New Energy Initiatives and Lead Minister for the Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline Project.
Mr. McLeod was born and raised in Fort Providence, Northwest Territories.
Mr. McLeod holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Alberta and an Honours Diploma in Administrative Management from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. In 1989, Mr. McLeod also completed a program of national and international studies at the National Defense College in Kingston, Ontario. As part of that program, Mr. McLeod traveled to 25 countries and completed a thesis on Aboriginal Self Government and the Possibilities for Constitutional Reform.
Mr. McLeod is an active member of the Yellowknife community serving and participating in several community organizations. He has served as president of the Yellowknife recreational hockey league, president of the Yellowknife golf club (led the expansion to 18 holes), member of the Yellowknife Elks club and as Senator for the Tree of Peace Friendship Centre.
Mr. McLeod has served on numerous boards and agencies. He served as the co-chair of the Northern River Basin study, Director for the Canadian Tourism Commission and chaired the Canadian Diamond Strategy Working Group and the Mackenzie River Basin Committee. At the national level he served as vice president for the Fur Institute of Canada and chair of the Canadian Wildlife Coalition.
Mr. McLeod and his wife, Melody, have one son, Warren (Shannon) and two beautiful grandsons, Carter and Cooper.
Hon. Peter Taptuna, Premier of Nunavut
Born in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Peter Taptuna’s career in public service began in 1999 where he served as Hamlet Council and Deputy Mayor in Kugluktuk. He was also Chair of the Kitikmeot Corporation and served as a director of Nunavut Development Corporation.
In 2008, Peter was elected to the territories the 3rd Legislative Assembly and represents the constituency of Kugluktuk. From 2008 to 2013, he served as Minister of Economic Development and Transportation, and held other portfolios, such as Nunavut Business Credit Corporation, Nunavut Development Corporation and Nunavut Housing Corporation.
On November 15, 2013, Peter was Re-elected to Nunavut’s 4th Legislative Assembly, and currently serves as Premier and Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Minister Responsible for Utility Rates Review Council.
For over 13 years, prior to entering politics, Peter worked in the oil and gas industry, primarily offshore in the Beaufort Sea, where he was part of the first and only Inuit drilling crew. His career also spans the western Arctic working for Lupin Gold Mine, southeast of Kugluktuk. He is a heavy duty mechanic by trade and earned a journeyman and Red Seal certification.
He holds a Diploma in Management Studies, from Nunavut Arctic College, with a focus on managerial accounting, corporate and contract law, business administration, and human resources management.
Peter and his wife Joanne have been married for over thirty years. Together they raised five children, Jason, Cheryl, Genevieve, Ian and Desiree. They have nine grandchildren.