Author Topic: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty  (Read 259511 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #450 on: January 13, 2018, 13:18:52 »
We punched a railroad West across thousands of miles of some of the toughest land in the world to guarantee Confederation in the mid-1800s.

I assume we can figure out how to go North in the early 20 teens if we have the same will.....
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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #451 on: January 13, 2018, 13:35:37 »
In fact not until towards the end of the century:

Quote
...
On Nov. 7, 1885, the eastern and western portions of the Canadian Pacific Railway met at Craigellachie, B.C., where Donald A. Smith drove the last spike. The cost of construction almost broke the syndicate, but within three years of the first transcontinental train leaving Montreal and Toronto for Port Moody on June 28, 1886...
http://cpconnectingcanada.ca/our-history/

 ;)

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Offline YZT580

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #452 on: January 13, 2018, 13:36:04 »
We punched a railroad West across thousands of miles of some of the toughest land in the world to guarantee Confederation in the mid-1800s.

I assume we can figure out how to go North in the early 20 teens if we have the same will.....

We already did this once. Goes to Churchill but it is washed out and no one has the will or the cash to repair it and without a reason for the destination there is no purpose either.  If it costs too much to fix one that is already there, what is the economic sense of creating another one thousands of kilometres long.  There just aren't enough customers at the end of it.  Wouldn't it make more sense to develop an arctic shipping infra-structure centred on Churchill that provided shipping services throughout the entire Arctic?  Although ships are seasonal, they have the advantage that the water is already there and they are capable of hauling large quantities of cargo. Even for mineral development constructing a pier and short spur lines from source to coast makes more sense than trying to finance even a few hundred miles of road.  For those who say that seasonal shipping isn't profitable consider that grain shipments east of Thunder Bay used to terminate mid-December and didn't start up again until April.  Also the steel mills in Hamilton stockpile ore for 3 months or more to cover winter operations: so a short but intense shipping season from mine to Churchill could be conceivable.
Without actions such as this even fixing what we have is a waste of money

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #453 on: January 13, 2018, 14:12:17 »
Owning a big country is like owning a big chunk of property, either look after it, or someone else will.

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #454 on: January 13, 2018, 14:21:04 »
Colin P: Only the US could conceivably really threaten our sovereignty--and they certainly would act to stop any serious incursion by a third country, in their own security self-interest (and follow Article 5 of NATO treaty).

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #455 on: January 13, 2018, 18:19:56 »
There was a significant difference between the CPR and the Churchill line and YZT alludes to it - the CPR line went from someplace to someplace, not from someplace to noplace.

Victoria and Vancouver were already up and running as ports trading into western North America and were growing on their own.  Likewise Halifax to Sault Ste Marie was settled and growing.  Also, both Halifax and Victoria were connected by the White Ensign.  So the CPR, and its associated telegraph, was essentially a shortcut for the RN, as well as the Merchant Bankers of London.

The railway didn't create Vancouver.  It didn't even create Edmonton (the HBC did that) or Calgary (Whiskey traders created Lethbridge and made Calgary necessary). The railway created Ottawa.
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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #456 on: January 15, 2018, 10:21:30 »
Colin P: Only the US could conceivably really threaten our sovereignty--and they certainly would act to stop any serious incursion by a third country, in their own security self-interest (and follow Article 5 of NATO treaty).

Mark
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Depends how you define sovereignty, if China decides to drill in arctic waters we call our own, but even the US disagrees, then are they going to help us? China does not need to claim it as their own, just state "In our opinion it's belongs to everybody and by the way we have bought enough UN votes to support our postion" 

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #457 on: January 15, 2018, 15:22:35 »
There is precedent - The Doughnut Hole.

The Doughnut Hole is in the Bering Sea.  It is a space that is more than 200 NM from any American or Russian shore.  Thus it falls outside of the Economic Exclusion Zones of both the US and Russia.  Thus it is International Waters - or Commons.

The Bering Sea is home to a fish, the Walleye Pollock, which has been feeding Japan since the 1960s and the US since the 1980s.  In the 1980s the US asserted its economic rights over its EEZ and started managing the Pollock stock and turned it into a sustainable fishery.  The Russians never managed the same trick.

The Doughnut Hole (or Donut Hole if you prefer) became a major problem.  It became an unmanaged and unmanageable area into which Chinese and Polish Trawlers entered and sucked up the pollock - undermining both the Americans and the occasional Russian attempts to control the fishing of the pollock.  Ultimately it threatened the stock and the ability of the Japanese and Koreans to be fed.

The Doughnut Hole was unique because to access it the "pirates" had to transit nationally controlled waters and because they were proceeding to International waters there was nothing the intervening nations could do to restrict either the fishing, which was not illegal, or the free passage.

That is the type of problem that Canada faces in its Arctic (and Dixon Channel and the Bay of Fundy and Georges Bank).

Canada needs to be able to place DFO and RCMP officers in place to assert Canada's desire and intention to manage the area according to our laws.  The CAF needs to be available and capable of supporting those officers in the event Spanish Trawlers show up again or a Canadian version of the Icelandic Cod War breaks out.

Quote
The Cod Wars
Background to the Cod Wars

 
The cod wars were a series of disputes between Britain and Iceland running from the 1950s to the 1970s over the rights to fish in Icelandic waters. Although it was never a war in the conventional sense of the word (the massive and well-equipped Royal Navy would have easily defeated the tiny Icelandic Navy), the peak of the Cod Wars saw thirty seven Royal Navy warships mobilised to protect British trawlers fishing in the disputed territory. While the wars were eventually settled through diplomatic means there was conflict between British naval vessels and Icelandic ships out at sea. The Cod Wars showed how seriously nations took their fishing rights, and the lengths they would go to in order to access rich fishing grounds.

 http://britishseafishing.co.uk/the-cod-wars/
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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #458 on: September 14, 2018, 15:32:14 »
Conclusion of very sensible piece at CGAI:

Quote
Arctic Sovereignty: Preoccupation vs. Homeland Governance and Defence
...
by CGAI Fellow Andrea Charron and James Fergusson
...
Referencing “Arctic” and “sovereignty” in the same sentence is generally a recipe for alarmist and precipitous action. It is usually translated into a demand for a more military presence, which, while a ready answer for the Canadian government, ignores the fact that sovereignty issues today are settled in courtrooms. There are no de jure or de facto threats to Canadian Arctic sovereignty. If Russia is a real threat, it is to Canada and its allies as a whole. Indeed, the Arctic is the one issue area in which Russian co-operation has been tremendously helpful. Certainly, as the balance between de facto and de jure sovereignty has changed over time, one cannot predict how it might change in the future. For now, however, Canadians should replace Arctic sovereignty with homeland defence and devote attention to issues which relate to how the federal government exercises its sovereign authority over the people who live in its Arctic territory and how it will work with allies now and in the future to defend Canada.
https://www.cgai.ca/arctic_sovereignty_preoccupation_vs_homeland_governance_and_defence

Relevant earlier post of mine:

Quote
Arctic Tensions Not Really About the Region but Relations With Russia
https://cgai3ds.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mark-collins-arctic-tensions-not-really-about-the-region-but-relations-with-russia/

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Online Blackadder1916

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #459 on: October 23, 2018, 15:21:24 »
Since the only reference to Exercise Musk Ox that I found on these means was a brief mention in this thread back about 10 or 11 pages, I thought this may be an appropriate thread in which to provide a link to a 1946 DND/NFB film about the exercise in which Canadian soldiers travel overland from Churchill to Edmonton the long way (up north and then across the territories).





There is some background material available at the U of C. https://www.ucalgary.ca/arcticexpedition/map-home/army-goes-north-operation-muskox

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Offline Underway

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #460 on: December 08, 2018, 10:28:49 »
NATO's Arctic Dilemma is a CBC article focused on dealing with Russian in the arctic.   Not bad reading for the topic.

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #461 on: December 08, 2018, 11:29:00 »
A guide to writing about the Arctic from a Canadian academic specialist:

Quote
How to write an Arctic story in 5 easy steps
OPINION: A foolproof guide for reporters new to covering the Arctic
By Heather Exner-Pirot [https://www.opencanada.org/contributors/heather/]

So you’ve been assigned to write a story on the Arctic. Congratulations! This will be one of your easiest assignments.

The key is to write the exact story your urban, mid-latitude reader expects to read. Stick to this formula and you’ll be on the path to high click rates in no time.

1. Climate change is the pretext for your article, so make sure to point out how many degrees the region has warmed. To avoid doing math, simply state “Twice as fast as the rest of the planet”. Reiterate that this will have significant impacts on polar bears. Don’t forgot your illustration of the Arctic Ocean showing its shrinking sea ice extent since 1979: This is key!

2. The Arctic conflict narrative is essential. Most journalists used to lead with the Russian flag being planted on the seafloor at the North Pole in 2007, but more and more are opening with China’s 2018 Arctic White Paper. Portraying the Russians and Chinese as a double threat to Arctic sovereignty is ideal.

Be sure to note that Russia has way more icebreakers than your country, and that China is building some too. Imply that these icebreakers have some nefarious purpose, like war-fighting or illegal fishing. Describe shipping growth in the Northern Sea Route as a percentage (“80 percent growth”), not the actual double-digit figure (27 transits in 2017).

It’s best to call Russia’s extended continental shelf claim submission a “land grab,” even though 80 other states have made similar submissions under the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. If you do mention that Canada and Denmark have competing claims, make it seem like Russia’s is somehow more aggressive. It is always preferable to refer to the ‘North Pole’ rather than the ‘Central Arctic Ocean’, even though the former is an abstract point.

Bonus points if you can show a map of Russian military assets in the Arctic. Don’t distinguish between Soviet-era airstrips, refueling ports or search and rescue stations. What really matters is that there are a lot of dots. Call Russia’s new Nagurskoye base in Alexandra Land in the Franz Josef archipelago, which accommodates 150 people, “giant” or “massive.”

3. Resource development, of course, is the reason we are all here. Start by asserting that the Arctic region could contain 90 billion barrels of oil. If you are feeling bold, declare it a “trillion dollar ocean”. Point out the paradox that climate change is making oil and gas resources more accessible WHICH WILL LEAD TO MORE CLIMATE CHANGE. For a balanced take, remind the reader that resource development also provides jobs in remote locations. Recite someone from Greenpeace describing how those jobs can be replaced through renewable energy projects or tourism.

4. It is very important to make mention of Indigenous peoples, and the fact that they have lived in the Arctic for millennia. A trip to an Inuit village is optimal. Describe the weather on the day you visit as ‘frozen’, ‘brutal’ or ‘harsh’.

Provide quotes on how climate change has affected hunting patterns. References to addictions, the high cost of milk, crumbling infrastructure — any kind of struggle — are welcome, while descriptions of normal, everyday life are discouraged.

5. The easiest part of your article is picking your headline – there are only four options after all. “Scramble for the Arctic” “Polar Power Struggle” and “Race for Arctic Resources” are good, but it’s hard to top “New Cold War”.

Include an image of soldiers in snow camouflage uniforms in your social media posts.

Once you have checked all these boxes, your Arctic article is complete. Great job bringing attention to this changing, vulnerable region! After all, what happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic...
https://www.arctictoday.com/write-arctic-story-5-easy-steps/

Then see this by two other academics--start of major piece:

Quote
Arctic Sovereignty: Preoccupation vs. Homeland Governance and Defence

POLICY PERSPECTIVE
by CGAI Fellow Andrea Charron and James Fergusson
September 2018
...
Introduction

Inevitably, Canadian foreign policy scholars are either asked, or feel compelled, to write about the Arctic.1 More often than not, their writings include the nebulous topic of Arctic sovereignty and it is usually assumed to be under threat. Yet, foreign policy scholars from other Arctic states are not fixated on sovereignty [emphasis added]. They are concerned about their ability to defend their homelands from a variety of (especially) state-based threats. Indeed, analysts from other Arctic states are simultaneously fascinated and confused as to why Canadian foreign policy scholars and Canadian political discourse writ large spend so much time narrowly focused on Arctic sovereignty rather than homeland governance and defence ]emphasis added]. The answer revolves around a misunderstanding of today’s concept of sovereignty and a reluctance to talk about threats to the homeland. The former is a legacy of a Canadian need to navigate great powers and allegiances (read the U.K. and U.S.) and the long and difficult history of securing title to the territory.2 The latter is to avoid U.S.-type language and the (false) assumption that Canada is still “fire-proof”. The result, however, is debates in Canada, which use outdated arguments to simultaneously address and avoid conversations about potential, real threats to Canada, which have nothing to do with the Arctic and wider issues about governance. This article returns to the basics to define sovereignty and then applies it in the Arctic context. We finish with a few thoughts on what might be a way forward...

Canada's Arctic Sovereignty

This brief exposition of the sovereignty question provides the backdrop for understanding the Canadian Arctic sovereignty preoccupation. While one might contest the legality of the transfer of de jure sovereignty of Arctic territory from the United Kingdom to Canada in 1880 by Order in Council,4 no one in the international community has contested or challenged Canada’s legal sovereign status over the area. Nor has any sovereign state provided a de facto challenge (i.e., seized control of part of the territory) to Canadian sovereignty over its Arctic territory [emphasis added].5

Of course, the status of the Northwest Passage (NWP) is regularly portrayed as a threat to Canadian de jure and de facto sovereignty. While one may debate whether the passage should be legally treated as an international strait, this debate is not about Canadian sovereignty per se, no more than other recognized international straits are about the sovereignty of the adjacent states...Canada, in reality, does not need to control the territory, because there are no challenges to its de jure sovereignty [emphasis added]. While many point to Russian Arctic military capabilities, their simple existence does not translate into a de facto threat to Canadian sovereignty. Russian aggression is evident across the world but we have yet to see Russian designs to take over and control Canadian Arctic territory. Even with the resumption of Russian military flights over the Arctic Ocean approaching Canadian territory, Russian pilots have been cautious to respect Canadian airspace knowing the potential consequences of a significant, lingering breach. Canadian Arctic sovereignty is not at stake. Rather, bona fide threats to Western states as a function of Russian designs on territory in Eastern Europe and former Soviet republics must be discussed in the context of homeland protection. The Canadian Arctic remains a pathway to key potential targets in the south (especially in the U.S.) ]emphasis added...
https://www.cgai.ca/arctic_sovereignty_preoccupation_vs_homeland_governance_and_defence

See this earlier post:

Quote
Arctic Tensions Not Really About the Region but Relations With Russia
https://mark3ds.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/mark-collins-arctic-tensions-not-really-about-the-region-but-relations-with-russia/

Mark
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Online Colin P

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #462 on: December 09, 2018, 13:51:12 »
Using Putin's "polite green men" strategy. Imagine a scenario based around a Chinese statement at the UN that Canada's claim to the Arctic is illegitimate, with political support from Chinese and Russian vassal States, Putin moves a contingent of scientists, civilians with protection by heavily armed naval infantry and logistical support of one of it's new nuclear icebreakers and takes over Mould Bay, claiming it as a "International science station" administrated by Russia on behalf of the world. What can Canada do? Sure the US could move a nuke attack sub into place, but is it going to torp a civilian nuclear powered icebreaker in the arctic, likely quietly supported by a Russian nuke sub?     

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #463 on: December 09, 2018, 14:51:00 »
I do not believe any US administration would tolerate such action against/on Canadian territory--if necessary a forceful response--passive acceptance = end of NATO (amongst many other consequences unacceptable to Americans).

Mark
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Online Colin P

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #464 on: December 09, 2018, 14:59:30 »
yes but what can they actually do? Would they land troops to contest it? Plus the US is not overly in love with our definition of Arctic sovereignty either.

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #465 on: December 09, 2018, 15:10:00 »
Well, US forces in coordination/with help from CAF, could try to interdict/stop Russkies en route ("Ice Station Zebra" in reverse scenario, sort of--fun flick http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/783/Ice-Station-Zebra/).





Mark
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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #466 on: December 09, 2018, 16:12:09 »
My suspicion is we won't even notice till they land and announce it. A 3 day voyage for their big icebreaker depending on ice conditions, even if we notice it on the 2nd day, it take a whole day just for the BN to get up the chain and another couple of days before some sort of decisions is made to protest through diplomatic channels. Likely they have people landed by the time we our first overflight. If they sent 2 icebreakers, they could likely land 50 people and supplies for a year in a week of hard work. Plus their icebreakers can work earlier and later than ours can. China sends up theirs as an act of "solidarity". Neither are "naval vessels".

Canada has a couple of Ranger patrols nearby, a unarmed icebreaker and Aurora attempting to maintain air coverage, with the occasional CF-18 escorting it. 

Russia can provide sub cover all along the supply route, along with Bears providing air coverage.

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #467 on: December 09, 2018, 17:11:54 »
My suspicion is we won't even notice till they land and announce it. A 3 day voyage for their big icebreaker depending on ice conditions, even if we notice it on the 2nd day, it take a whole day just for the BN to get up the chain and another couple of days before some sort of decisions is made to protest through diplomatic channels. Likely they have people landed by the time we our first overflight. If they sent 2 icebreakers, they could likely land 50 people and supplies for a year in a week of hard work. Plus their icebreakers can work earlier and later than ours can. China sends up theirs as an act of "solidarity". Neither are "naval vessels".

Canada has a couple of Ranger patrols nearby, a unarmed icebreaker and Aurora attempting to maintain air coverage, with the occasional CF-18 escorting it. 

Russia can provide sub cover all along the supply route, along with Bears providing air coverage.

Just you never heard of satellite coverage.
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All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #468 on: December 09, 2018, 21:25:49 »
and what do they see? Two Russian icebreakers on the edge of their normal territory for 1/2 the voyage, a cover story of setting up a ice weather station on the ice floes which has been made public a couple of weeks before. That's 1.5 days of their trip, someone has to also notice them, interpret the data, sees Arctic type shipping in the Arctic, they might not even make an urgent report, perhaps an e-mail on Friday evening that sits till early next week.. Even if you do get the report to the right ears, what are they going to do in that time? 

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #469 on: December 09, 2018, 22:46:42 »
Yes, yes. But we have special satellites with frickin laser beams.

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #470 on: December 09, 2018, 23:18:59 »
Yes, yes. But we have special satellites with frickin laser beams.

No we had a program to arm sharks with frikin Laser Beams, but since sharks were expensive and hard to come by. We were offered an cheaper option with regional benefits, now we have Farmed raised Atlantic Salmon with Frikin dollar store Laser beams duct taped to their heads.  8)

Wait to PETA hears about it, or Greenpeace!!

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #471 on: December 10, 2018, 06:13:26 »
and what do they see? Two Russian icebreakers on the edge of their normal territory for 1/2 the voyage, a cover story of setting up a ice weather station on the ice floes which has been made public a couple of weeks before. That's 1.5 days of their trip, someone has to also notice them, interpret the data, sees Arctic type shipping in the Arctic, they might not even make an urgent report, perhaps an e-mail on Friday evening that sits till early next week.. Even if you do get the report to the right ears, what are they going to do in that time?

You are reading too many Tom Clancy novels my friend. Don't you think we have an organization that looks at the maritime picture in the Arctic continuously?
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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #472 on: December 10, 2018, 07:55:50 »
You are reading too many Tom Clancy novels my friend. Don't you think we have an organization someone else has assets that we piggy back off of that looks at the maritime picture in the Arctic continuously?

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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #473 on: December 10, 2018, 08:47:50 »
;D

True that, we do have some assets though and your right we do share with others with greater resources than our own.
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Re: Defending Canadian Arctic Sovereignty
« Reply #474 on: December 10, 2018, 13:56:26 »
You are reading too many Tom Clancy novels my friend. Don't you think we have an organization that looks at the maritime picture in the Arctic continuously?

I work in the Federal Government, i have very little faith in their ability to monitor anything and respond to it. As for novels, I just look how Putin operates and such a move is one he would make. He outmaneuvered the west in Syria and Crimea, if you don't think he won't try again somewhere else, then you will be in for a surprise.