Canada's Northern Sovereignty

Monika Stanson
Mr. Burg
GEO 10-1
4 February, 2011

Northern Sovereignty-Canada Against the World

The gradual melting of the Arctic ice cap is rapidly exposing the Northwest Passage- a shipping route that could cut five thousand nautical miles from the current routes, and save billions of dollars.   Canada considers the passage completely under our control, while other nations see it as an international strait. The arctic land is also believed to be rich in oil, mineral deposits and other valuable Arctic resources. Canada needs to take charge and reinforce our declared ownership over the disputed territory that is the north. The Arctic should be claimed as Canada’s for three motives: Canada’s national security, environmental protection of the North, and the fact that the land is rightfully Canada’s.
To begin with, reinforcing Canada’s ownership of the North would ensure the nation’s security.
In addition, the Arctic ecosystem is extremely fragile, and allowing other nations to exploit its resources and use the Northwest Passage would compromise the wellbeing of Canada’s environment. Randy Boswell, from CanWest News Service writes, “…declaring the Northwest Passage international could cause potential threats to the Arctic’s ‘fragile ecosystem’ from increased shipping and oil exploration.” (Boswell) Having the territory internationally owned would greatly damage the northern environment, as an amplified foraging of resources, and a heavier flow of traffic through the Passage would cause a great deal of pollution, leaving the Arctic residents to deal with the after effects. Canada needs to take responsibility for the Northern territory in order to protect the sensitive northern environment.
Finally, the Canadian people have a historic link with the Arctic, and the land is part of Canada’s identity. On this matter, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said, "Canada's sovereignty over our Arctic region is rooted in an historic connection to the land, its...