The old Soviet Union may have been just as familiar with Canada’s Arctic waters as Canadians.
Sections of Cold-War-era nautical charts obtained by The Canadian Press suggest that Russian mariners have for decades possessed detailed and accurate knowledge of crucial internal waterways such as the Northwest Passage.
Those charts, which may offer the first documentary proof of the widely held belief that Soviet nuclear submarines routinely patrolled the Canadian Arctic during the Cold War, are still in use by Russian vessels. In some places, they are preferred to current Canadian charts.
ABOARD USS NEW HAMPSHIRE, Arctic Ocean | Mon Mar 21, 2011
(Reuters) - The machine that produces fresh air aboard the USS New Hampshire submarine failed during a mission under the vast ice cap of the Arctic Ocean last week, prompting the submarine to use an alternate oxygen candle system instead.
Canada's new Northern Strategy is mostly made up of old ideas that have gone nowhere
Michael Byers, Ottawa Citizen, August 5, 2009
Glenn Gould called it The Idea of North. Conceptions of sovereignty are often wrapped up in national identities, and nowhere is this more true than with Canada's Arctic. For many Canadians, when the United States claims an unfettered right to use the Northwest Passage, it is like a wealthy neighbour claiming the right to tramp through our living room.
The federal government has paused a four-year pilot project to test
High Arctic surveillance technology at the entrance to the Northwest
Passage, CBC News has learned.
As part of the Northern Watch program, scientists from Defence
Research and Development Canada began installing underwater listening
devices and land-based sensors on Devon Island in the summer of 2008.
If successful, the tested technology would help Canada detect ships
and submarines passing through the eastern entrance to the Northwest
Contacted by CBC News, a National Defence spokesperson would only
say the Northern Watch program is taking a hiatus this summer as
researchers want to evaluate data the devices have collected already.
They will then decide what to do with the program, the spokesperson added.
A FASCINATION with the frozen reaches above the 60th parallel has
played a central role in the development of the Canadian national
consciousness. Although most Canadians have never been within a
thousand miles of the region, an enthrallment with ''the Arctic
sublime,'' as it has been described by Franklyn Griffiths, a University
of Toronto political scientist who has written extensively on the
subject, is part of the country's birthright.
So it has been
in the longstanding dispute over the Northwest Passage, the channel of
icy sea that snakes through the islands of the Canada's Arctic. Any
country questioning Canadian ownership of the passage - ''lock, stock
and icebergs,'' as Prime Minister Brian Mulroney expresses it - is
challenging something essential to national pride.
The Arctic has immense oil reserves and mineral wealth, but Canada has been slow to protect its northern sovereignty
Ed Struzik, Toronto Star, November 18, 2007
Man.–In the fall of 1998, a Russian IL-76 flew over the North Pole to
the tiny sub-Arctic town of Churchill on the shores of western Hudson
Mike Lawson, who was on airport duty, remembers it well.
don't get big Russian planes like that in Churchill," he says of the
Il-76, an unforgettably large cargo plane that is even bigger than the
C-130 Hercules used by the Canadian military. "In fact, in the 18 years
I've been here, I've seen only one other like it."
unusual was the pilot switching off his landing lights the moment he
hit the tarmac – despite blowing snow and marginal visibility.
Stephen Harper is beefing
up Canada's claims on the Arctic, but it's not clear who owns the
northern sea and the potential resource windfall beneath it
Doug Saunders, Globe and Mail, October 20, 2007
FARNBOROUGH, ENGLAND - Inside a high-security facility in southern England this week, two
Canadian officers scribbled notes as they learned how to spot Russian
submarines by listening to faint sounds reflected off the floor of the
Arctic Ocean. Later, they would spend hours
memorizing the intricate and nearly silent audio patterns made by the
latest generation of Russian and U.S. submarines, highly classified
knowledge that will be used by Canada to follow the increasingly
assertive manoeuvres taking place beneath the Arctic ice. "It's become a real cat-and-mouse game, actually, submarines keep
trying to improve their noise-quieting technology, and we try to
improve our listening technology to stay ahead. It's a constant
challenge," said Captain Glen Gullison, from the Canadian military's
Acoustic Data Analysis Centre in Halifax.