German president ending visit to Canada in Northwest Territories

By Emily Blake

YELLOWKNIFE – Germany’s president is in the Northwest Territories to begin the final leg of his four-day official visit to Canada.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier was welcomed at the Yellowknife airport by territorial commissioner Margaret Thom and other dignitaries.

Steinmeier then joined Gov. Gen. Mary Simon at the Canadian military’s Joint Task Force North headquarters for a tour and briefing with senior officials.

Outside, federal government employees formed a picket line as part of a countrywide strike involving more than 150,000 Public Service Alliance of Canada workers.

Steinmeier and Simon are next scheduled to head further north to the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk to meet with Indigenous leaders and members of the community.

While in Tuktoyaktuk, they plan to visit the shore of the Arctic Ocean to learn about the effects of climate change and view homes that were relocated due to coastal erosion.

They are also set to visit a traditional sod house and an ice house that was dug in the permafrost in 1963 to store meat and fish.

Steinmeier and Simon are then to attend a presentation on the Smart Ice Project, which combines traditional knowledge with modern technology to monitor ice.

They are to end their time in Tuktoyaktuk by attending a community event at Kitti Hall before returning to Yellowknife.

Steinmeier arrived Sunday in Ottawa, where he attended events including a reception held by the German ambassador during which he spoke about the importance of liberal democracies.

On Tuesday, he was in Burnaby, B.C., and Vancouver, where he toured fuel cell company Cellcentric and attended a roundtable discussion with German and Canadian business representatives.

Steinmeier is to depart Canada for Germany on Wednesday evening.