Airships to the Arctic IV: Conference Proceedings
Held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – October 29 – 31st, 2007
By: Russ Wyatt, Councillor, City of Winnipeg
It is an honour to bring greetings on behalf of his Worship, Mayor Sam Katz and all members of Winnipeg City Council to welcome the delegates who are attending the 4th International Symposium of ‘Airships to the Arctic’. I want to congratulate Dr. Barry Prentice. Dr. Prentice has been a leader in our community with regards to the study of transportation and new forms of transportation including airships. It was an honour to work with Dr. Prentice on the Task Force studying rapid transit in Winnipeg. Many of you are probably from cities that have rapid transit. Winnipeg does not at this point and we were studying forms of rapid transit that would be financially feasible for us. Dr Prentice.s work was crucial to delivering a successful report.
Winnipeg has a proud history of transportation that begins with the Assiniboine and the Red River. We were founded at the very heart of the continent because of these two rivers and the fur trade they supported. The cargo business of our City continues to grow and has a future. There is no doubt that you are breaking new ground, and the work that you are doing is not going unnoticed. We are facing some huge financial crunches with regards to infrastructure costs, and the price we are paying for having such a successful and growing economy.
The work you are doing with regards to the Arctic is extremely timely. The cost to build and maintain new roads into the North is astronomical. The greenhouse emissions that it would produce in the process are huge, and we are trying to lessen the footprint we are leaving on our environment.
So I congratulate you for that work. It sounds like there is going to be a lot of exciting news on airships in the future, and Winnipeg should be the center of it. We have developed new industries in the past and we have some very important industrial leaders with us this evening that have done a lot to grow our City. Airships are going to be part of the future transportation economy and how we extract resources and develop the North.
If you go to the Manitoba Legislature you will see a statue on the top of the building that is called the Golden Boy. The Golden Boy holds sheaths of wheat and he stares out to the north. The reason he looks North is because he represents, youth and vitality and the future. For generations, Manitobans have dreamed of that the north would be a source of income, a source of wealth and a source for growth for the future of this Province. I hope this Conference may speed the development of an airship industry to help deliver the dream embodied in the Golden Boy. Welcome to Winnipeg, Welcome to Manitoba and I hope you enjoy your conference.