Tuesday, April 04, 2006

On needed discovery

The CP reports on an unprecedented Canadian military mission in which three separate patrols are meeting up in Canada's far north:
In efforts to reinforce sovereignty and prepare for emergencies arising from increased use of northern skies and waters, three patrols from widely separated points successfully navigated thousands of kilometres over snow and rugged ice to rendezvous on a scrap of rock jutting from a frozen ocean...

A big part of Operation Nunalivut, Inuktitut for The Land Is Ours, is cataloguing and assessing various camps, airstrips and other structures that have been built and abandoned in the North, said Artus. Knowing what's out there and what kind of shape it's in could come in handy during an emergency.

"We are putting together a list of the available things in the Arctic and we are actually (developing) some concepts of operation to allow us to move quicker through the Arctic - maybe like have a central depot and be able to branch out from there until needed."

Two abandoned weather stations along the route could become "turnkey" base camps that could be quickly activated in an emergency.
It's a shock that we haven't yet even catalogued all the equipment available for use in the Arctic. But while there's plenty more to be done before Canada can be seen to exercise a proper amount of control over its northern regions, both in order to respond adequately to emergencies to and to ensure effective sovereignty under international law, it's certainly a plus to see that some first steps are being taken.

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