Why it's misleading for PM to imply international law will put the Arctic landmark on Canada's map.
Michael Byers, TheTyee.ca , 24 December 2013
Santa Claus is magic. How else could he live at the North Pole, above 4000 metres of frigid water?
The North Pole, indeed, is located near the middle of the Arctic Ocean. Covered by drifting sea-ice, pummeled by high winds, it receives no sunlight for several months a year and is regularly exposed to temperatures of minus 50 degrees.
It has always been difficult for Canada to discuss the Northwest Passage with the United States. A northern route to the Pacific Ocean was the holy grail for explorers from Cabot to Hudson and Franklin, whose discoveries helped define our nation. The Northwest Passage is also at the root of Canada’s most significant and enduring dispute with the United States. As such, it is a source of both pride and anxiety in our close but asymmetrical relationship.
Nevertheless, we have managed to talk about the Northwest Passage when it has been necessary to do so ...
Prime Minister Stephen Harper drives an ATV at the Tuktoyaktuk airport while visiting Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories on the fourth day of his five-day northern tour to Canada's Arctic on Thursday Aug. 26, 2010. A new Wikileaks cable suggests the U.S. government views Stephen Harper's talk about Canadian Arctic sovereignty as little more than empty chest-thumping designed to win votes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Andy Blatchford and Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
A new WikiLeaks cable suggests the U.S. government views Stephen Harper's talk about Canadian Arctic sovereignty as little more than empty chest-thumping designed to win votes.
In a diplomatic cable posted this week by the online whistleblower, the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa says the Tories have made successful political use of promises to beef up Canada's presence in the Arctic.
But it says the Harper government has done only scant implementation on pledges like increasing surveillance over the Northwest Passage.
"Conservatives make concern for 'The North' part of their political brand . . . and it works," says the note, titled Canada's Conservative Government and its Arctic Focus.
Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper talks with Chief of Defence Staff Walt Natynczyk while standing on an iceberg in Allen Bay in Resolute, Nunavut August 25, 2010. Photograph by: Chris Wattie/Reuters, National Post
Randy Boswell, PostMedia News, January 26, 2011
A new international survey on Arctic issues, which suggests Canadians have a stronger sense of possessiveness toward their northern territories than the world’s seven other polar nations, is being viewed by observers as an affirmation of the Conservative government’s steady focus on the region since taking office five years ago this week.
Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star, August 27, 2010
RESOLUTE, NUNAVUT—It was like a scene from central casting.
There was Prime Minister Stephen Harper standing on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, next to a navy diver who had just emerged from the icy waters. In the background was the Canadian Coast Guard ship Henry Larsen, her bright red-hued hull contrasting sharply with the white ice floes that dotted the waters.
Overhead screamed a military transport jet doing double duty as an airborne tanker, flanked by two CF-18 fighters.
As photo ops go, they rarely get more elaborate.
That’s become the script of Harper’s annual summer sojourns through Canada’s north — heavy dollops of nationalism, backed by carefully staged visuals and, through it all, the theme of a federal government making its overdue claim to Canada’s northern territory.
The newly discovered Arctic exploration vessel is an important part of this nation's history -- it should be displayed in the capital
Michael Byers, Ottawa Citizen, July 30,2010
Museums in Oslo and Vancouver house two of the three ships that were central to the history of Canada's Northwest Passage. With this week's discovery of the HMS Investigator, almost perfectly preserved in the cold waters of Mercy Bay, Northwest Territories, Ottawa should soon become the home of the third.
The proposed name change to Canadian Northwest Passage won't strengthen our claim in international law, and it may well hurt it.
Michael Byers, Globe and Mail, October 27, 2009
Like motherhood and apple pie, Arctic sovereignty is difficult to oppose.
So when Conservative MP Daryl Kramp introduced a motion on Oct. 5 to rename the Northwest Passage the “Canadian Northwest Passage,” the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois quickly jumped on board.
It's time to reconsider that move – before the motion is put to a final vote. Renaming the Northwest Passage would weaken our legal claim, offend the Inuit and contradict centuries of Canadian history.
Randy Boswell, Canwest News Service, October 20, 2009
Despite initial indications the planned renaming of the Northwest Passage to the "Canadian Northwest Passage" would have clear sailing through the House of Commons, the idea may be facing rough waters after all.
A major Inuit organization has raised concerns about the proposed symbolic boost to Canada's Arctic sovereignty, arguing any new name should "reflect the history of Inuit use and occupation of the waters in question for thousands of years," Canwest News Service has learned.
A Conservative MP’s bid to officially rename the Northwest Passage the “Canadian Northwest Passage” — which garnered praise from all three opposition parties earlier this week — could backfire in the legal arena, says a leading expert on Arctic geopolitics and international law.
A Canadian-Danish resolution on Hans Island could be 'a way of getting the ball rolling' on other northern ownership disputes
Globe and Mail, September 8, 2009
The first and only time George Hobson set foot on Hans Island was 36 years ago.
Mr. Hobson, then head of the Polar Continental Shelf Project, a federal Arctic research program, flew more than two hours by Twin Otter to the rocky outcrop from Resolute Bay after receiving an urgent phone call from Ottawa.
The caller was former prime minister Jean Chrétien, who was then federal minister of Indian and northern affairs.