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Good afternoon, and welcome to Globe Climate, a newsletter about climate change, environment and resources in Canada.

It’s award season in the journalism world, and just this weekend The Globe and Mail lead the National Newspaper Awards, receiving nine NNAs and 19 nominations honouring our work. One you will remember from Globe Climate was written by Kathryn Blaze Baum, who has also won multiple NNAs. This year she was awarded for her explanatory work laying out the devastating effects of rising temperatures on the human body.

The Globe was also nominated for 24 Digital Publishing Awards. Many stories that have appeared in this newsletter are on the list, including about damage to B.C.’s Highway 8 and rebuilding efforts on the Coquihalla highway after heavy rain and extensive flooding in 2021, our piece on Ontario’s abandoned gas wells, and fighting climate change up North using Inuit knowledge with scientific expertise.

Congrats to all the winners this year! Now, let’s catch you up on other news.

Noteworthy reporting this week:

  1. B.C. Flooding: Hundreds of residents in B.C.’s Interior on evacuation alert as more rain threatens new flooding and mudslides after spring thaw. Protection still a patchwork, despite promises of change.
  2. Alberta Wildfires: Alberta has declared a state of emergency due to the threat of wildfires as more than 100 active fires have been forcing thousands to evacuate their homes
  3. Energy: Ottawa’s clean-electricity strategy faces opposition from Prairie provinces
  4. Development: Port of Vancouver sees expansion as crucial even as global shipping slumps, environmental opposition
  5. Mining: There’s a small resurgence in Canadian coal mining, but compensation boards are ill-prepared for the harm to workers’ lungs
  6. Oceans: Sustainable Marine Energy bins Canadian operations, accuses federal department of blocking green project
  7. Agriculture: Nova Scotia grape growers facing catastrophic loss after volatile winter weather
  8. Listen to The Decibel: Doug Saunders, international columnist at The Globe, on what we’re getting wrong about climate refugees
  9. Opinion: As our cities grow warmer, it’s time to rethink what and where nature is. And make neighbourhoods better equipped for the coming climate crisis
  10. Changing landscapes: PEI tourism operators racing to get ready for coming season after Hurricane Fiona’s devastation
  11. From The Narwhal: Clearcuts, forestry roads and threats to biodiversity abundant in Manitoba’s only logged park

A deeper dive

The Arctic Circle is an unlikely place to grow bell peppers and strawberries

Amber Bracken is a freelance photojournalist. For this week’s deeper dive, she talks about a story she wrote while visiting and learning with a community in Gjoa Haven.

In the comfort of lives on the grid, our interdependence is masked, but a sharp-toothed, quick biting Arctic wind cuts through all illusions to the soft heart of human vulnerability. Even as an Edmontonian, facing such a frozen expanse is humbling.

My visit to Gjoa Haven, NT in the dead of winter had me marvelling at the incredible accomplishment of Inuit who have transformed the incomprehensibly inhospitable landscape into a home. For five millennia people have relied on one another to survive and thrive in an extreme climate.

I was there to visit Naurvik, “the growing place” in Inuktitut, a hydroponic greenhouse producing fresh local vegetables against all odds. Hunkered in insulated sea cans and powered primarily with renewable energy, the project is a collaboration between the community and Arctic Research Foundation, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, National Research Council Canada and Canadian Space Agency.

Open this photo in gallery:

Greenhouse manager Betty Kogvik at the Naurvik greenhouse project, "the growing place" in Inuktitut, in Gjoa Haven, NT.Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

Food has never come easy in the North. Before colonization, generations of Inuit were nomadic hunters, trekking seasonally to follow whales, seals, fish, caribou, muskox, geese and berries. With Europeans came Residential Schools, forced relocations and, starting in the 1950s, the Canadian government engineered permanent settlements with the intent to better offer health and education services—but all disrupted the ancient system.

Today, food insecurity is endemic in Nunavut affecting more than half of all households, according to 2017-2018 Stats Canada data. People still rely on traditional “country food”, typically shared with family and friends, but fuel and supplies for hunting are expensive and climate change promises further complications for hunters. So most people also shop for their food. Long transport distances from the south increase grocery prices—during my visit in February four litres of milk cost $12.49—and the quality of fresh food often suffers.

That’s why local food production such as the Naurvik greenhouse is part of the Nunavut Food Security coalition’s action plan and why elders in Gjoa Haven are asking for more production. Powered primarily by wind and solar, with a diesel generator for emergencies, the project also promises economic and environmental sustainability.

I knew all this, intellectually, but the magic of finding strawberries, steps from an arctic fox was still a revelation in person. The feel of warm, moist air on my frost-nipped face and the gorgeous smell of plants breathing, lovingly tended by Inuit in the unlikely space demonstrated a possibility. Many things have changed in the Arctic, but food, community and climate will always be intertwined.

- Amber

Open this photo in gallery:

The Arctic Research Foundation's greenhouse project is shaped by the extreme northern environment more comparable to growing in space than in most other places on earth, in Gjoa Haven, NT.Amber Bracken/The Globe and Mail

What else you missed

Opinion and analysis

Amy Lofting: I’ve seen the slow transformation of cycling in Calgary

Tony Keller: An oil and gas superpower that’s also an environmental leader. Why can’t Canada be Norway?

Sandford Borins: The proposed Therme spa could be Highway 407 all over again

Green Investing

For a crash course in RI, ask your advisor these four questions

Nearly three in four Canadians want more information about responsible investing (RI), or investing with environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance in mind, according to a survey from the Responsible Investment Association. Yet only about three in 10 said their financial adviser had broached the subject, and 70 per cent said they knew little RI.

It’s important to ask your adviser questions to better understand RI strategies and options, the risks involved and your adviser’s specific approach to this type of investing. We’ve got four questions you can use to start.

Making waves

Each week The Globe will profile a Canadian making a difference. This week we’re highlighting the work of young people in the It’s My Future Toronto program set out to design a better world.

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Imani Canterbury, 11, and Karmanvir Bharath, 11, were three of the Torontonians who took part in this year’s It’s My Future Toronto program for BIPOC youth.Duane Cole/The Globe and Mail

Children can design solutions for a better world. That’s the thinking behind It’s My Future Toronto, a program created by OCAD University’s dean of design, Dori Tunstall. Launched in 2021, IMFTO guided a group of 17 BIPOC students through the critical thinking, design and presentation skills needed to identify problems in their communities and pitch solutions.

We’ve got a sample of some of the students’ work which ranges from a filtration system for harmful exhaust, a tax policy to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, and even a solar-powered tree planter.

Do you know an engaged individual? Someone who represents the real engines pursuing change in the country? Email us at to tell us about them.

Photo of the week

Open this photo in gallery:

NASA SnowEx campaign member Dr. Kelly Gleason works on skis while taking measurements of snow albedo (reflectivity) in a section of boreal forest during the melt season on May 4, 2023 near Fairbanks, Alaska. NASA's multi-year airborne and field SnowEx campaign is testing remote sensing technologies in diverse snowpack environments to prepare NASA for future satellite missions which will monitor the amount of water held in snowpacks worldwide amid a changing climate.Mario Tama/Getty Images

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