Premier McLeod thanks Harper for North’s ‘more vital role’

Bob McLeod with Stephen Harper
File photo of Bob McLeod with Stephen Harper.
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Premier Bob McLeod has thanked outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper for the North’s “more vital role” under Conservative government.

In a statement released on Tuesday, McLeod said: “We have enjoyed a good working relationship with the federal government under his leadership and appreciated its investment in northern development, prosperity and governance.

“During his tenure, the North has taken on a more vital role in Confederation and we wish him all the best in future endeavours.”

McLeod, facing his own territorial election next month, saw younger brother Michael become the Northwest Territories’ next MP after polls closed on Monday.

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Without referring to their relationship, Premier McLeod’s statement said: “Mr McLeod has always had the best interest of Northerners at heart and has served residents of the territory with enthusiasm, hard work and vigor in his many leadership positions.

“I am certain he will represent us with that same energy in Ottawa, bringing Northern issues to the forefront of national political discussions.”

‘Personal commitment’

The senior McLeod welcomed incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, saying: “We are confident that Mr Trudeau’s background and many travels in the North will help him bring a good understanding of the issues that matter to Northerners as he forms his government and begins to implement his vision for our country.”

But he also reserved praise for what he termed Harper’s “deep personal commitment to the North and its people”.

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Lastly, McLeod paid a brief tribute to Dennis Bevington, Michael McLeod’s defeated NDP rival, for his nine years as the territory’s representative in Ottawa.

Bevington had “given himself to public service,” said the Premier.

Bob McLeod is hoping to be returned as Premier of the NWT after next month’s election, which would mark a rare second term for a territorial leader.

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