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04/21/2009

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Inuit Shipping Company Navigates Northwest Passage with Cost Saving Sealift Services
IQALUIT, NT, April 20, 2009 - Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping www.NEAS.ca) is pleased to announce that starting this 2009 season, customers in Nunavut's Kitikmeot region can benefit from NEAS' reliable sealift services and significant cost savings.
"Beginning this season, NEAS will run a new route through the Northwest Passage and deliver significant savings for the people of the Kitikmeot region," said David Ell, NEAS' Director of Nunavut Marketing. "We are proud
and excited to offer this new over-the-top sealift service for Western Arctic
communities."
NEAS' Inuit-owned vessels, including the MV AVATAQ, MV QAMUTIK, and the MV UMIAVUT, will navigate the Northwest Passage from the Eastern Arctic to service Western Arctic communities including Cambridge Bay, Kugluktuk,
Taloyoak, and Gjoa Haven.
"This is a great time to be a NEAS customer", confirmed Paul Ghaleb, Vice
President of Sales. "With our new Northwest Passage route we will deliver significant savings for the Kitikmeot region and with our new Thru-Rate from Winnipeg, Kivalliq customers also benefit from savings."

NEAS is a Nunavut Inuit majority owned company whose shareholders are Sakku Investments Corporation, Qikiqtaaluk Corporation, Makivik Corporation and Transport Nanuk Inc. NEAS is a pioneer of the Arctic trade. Each arctic
sealift season, NEAS reliably delivers sealift, packaging and marshalling services for individuals, communities, businesses, government departments and agencies across Canada's Arctic. NEAS customers benefit from the convenience
of end-to-end customer service, including the benefits of a One-Stop-Shop for arctic sealift services.
Rates are published on our website at http://www.NEAS.ca.

This is a tricky situation. By making NORDREG mandatory, the Federal government is essentially forcing the issue to some sort of 'end game'. The legal impasse, which sees the US unwilling to ask permission for a what it sees as a right of innocent passage across an international strait, could bend one way or another depending on each countries subsequent reaction. For the Americans its the potentiality of the strait to be international that makes it international, and as such, Canada should be prepared to enforce NORDREG, should we pass the order-in-council, at any moment.

Harper, if he possess the shrewd sense of realpolitik that I have hitherto credited him with, would be wise to quickly, and quietly, pass the order-in-council before this summer begins. Then, as a show of force, have a Navy and CCG presence in the arctic choke points and EEZ all summer long to ensure 100% compliance from now until early October. The winter months may quite difficult to pull off a similar presence, if not impossible for the CF/CCG. So, we may have to resign ourselves to a partial CCG patrol in the winter to compel compliance.

But by making a Canadian show of force, both by imposing our laws unilaterally and by backing them up with force, Canada will incrementally buttress its claim both in fact, and by the letter of the law.

Ultimately in all this we see the need for more heavy capability in the arctic. It is disappointing to see that no further major CCG procurement projects have been earmarked out of the stimulus money. A mere fraction given to the auto-industry would have sufficed...

Canadas inuit have been using the ice of the internal passage as land for many centuries. Canadas economic ownership of the waters is supported under international law. The waters are legally canadian. The islands were deeded to canada by england about 150 years ago. There will be no taking of Canadain resources in disreguard of canadian ownership and regulation. Canadians will accept no less. What we are talking about is passage only. It is a very important issue. There should be no conflict to reporting passage to canada in everyones best interests. China will then report as well as every other country who wishes to pass. It is in the USA best interest as our strongest ally to see canada exercise its rightful control with reguard to passage. Canada would not deny american passage. Canada needs to know about and regulate all passage through our waterways as it is likely to increase. For environmental, safety, and security reasons. For the well being of the inuit peoples. They are all important reasons. Security is extremely critical in these times and will continue to be in the future. Passage is the issue. Ownership is undisputably Canadian and Canadians would defend that ownership with our blood I have no doubt. Most countries recognize Canadas ownership and respect it. To try to force away that ownership would be in fact be war.

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