Canadians Claim Sovereignty over Arctic

The Canadian government unveiled a plan to protect Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic and will rely on an enhanced Navy, Army and Air Force presence, as well as greater underwater and aerial surveillance of the area.

The plan entails building three armed heavy icebreakers capable of carrying troops and stationing them in the area of Iqaluit. The government $2 billion plan would include building a deep-water docking facility for civilian and military use.

The government stated that any foreign vessels traveling in Canadian territorial waters would need to seek its consent, such as the U.S. nuclear submarine which passed through Canadian waters without permission.

The Canadians intend to increase defense spending by $12 billion over the next five years, and responded that it would take all necessary measures to protect the country's sovereignty.

The Canadians intend to establish a new Arctic National Sensor System for northern waters, which will include underwater surveillance technologies such as listening posts to monitor foreign submarines and ships.

Among other things, the government plans to buy at least three strategic transport aircraft, increase the size of the Disaster Assistance Response Team, and resurrect the disbanded airborne unit.

Other elements of the Conservative plan include:

- Building a new Arctic army training centre in the area of Cambridge Bay on the Northwest Passage, staffed by 100 regular force personnel.

- Stationing new fixed-wing search-and-rescue aircraft in Yellowknife.

- Providing eastern and western Arctic air surveillance by stationing new long-range unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons at CFB Goose Bay in Labrador and CFB Comox in British Columbia.