New Canadian leader vows to push Canadian sovereignty over the Arctic Passage

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Popular Northwest Passage routes through the Canadian archipelago

Canada's next Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said that Canada will be deploying three new armed icebreaking ships to patrol the Arctic passage and assert Canadian sovereignty over those waters. Harper also said Canada will be establishing an underwater network of "listening posts" in the Arctic waters.

"The United States defends its sovereignty; the Canadian government will defend our sovereignty," Harper said. "It is the Canadian people that we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States."

Harper was responding to comments by the U.S. Ambassador, David Wilkins, who said yesterday; "We don't recognize Canada's claims to those waters. Most other countries do not recognize their claim."

The arctic passage is melting and commercial ships are able to cut 2,480 miles in distance off of the trip from Europe to Asia when compared to using the Panama Canal.

In addition to the icebreakers, Harper announced a $1.7 billion deep-water port.