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March 11, 2009

Canada to protect Arctic sovereignty

CANADA - Canada is stepping up diplomatic efforts to protect its Arctic sovereignty, a move that comes as other northern nations eye the vast area's resource wealth and melting ice and global warming invites new shipping through the North West passage.

Arctic disputes have heated up in recent years. Denmark planted its flag on a tiny rock outcrop called Hans Island in 2003 and a Russian submarine crew put a flag on a disputed part of the ocean floor in 2007. Big whoop. A flag on the ocean floor? This is just publicity stunts.

In a speech today, Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon made clear Ottawa's claim on its Arctic territory, saying he intends to talk directly to Canada's competition over the coming months. Cannon also intends meet with his counterparts April 28th and 29th in Norway at a meeting of the Arctic Council.

"As the Prime Minister stated many times, if someone threatens our Arctic sovereignty, we will push back," one federal official said.

But that is just talk, talk, talk. Where's the action?

The Canadian government has stepped-up military exercises, new military facilities and the promise of new ships to patrol Arctic waters, initiatives all aimed at other nations that might lay claim to disputed territory and the rich resources it holds.

Over the last two years, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has used trips to the north to highlight what he calls the "first principle of Arctic sovereignty: use it or lose it."

Still, will a stronger military presence do much? What Canada's arctic really needs, as unusual as it sounds, is SETTLERS.

If more Canadians moved to the Canadian arctic, found jobs and work there (even if its just seasonal) it would firmly stamp Canada's foot on the issue.

See Also:
The Race for Arctic Oil
Canada's Military Boost
Military Suicides in Canada
Canada's Fallen Soldiers in Afghanistan
Global Warming in Russia and the North Atlantic
Climate Change will effect Economy
Ancient ice shelf snaps free from Canada

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