Our Government is Standing Up for Canada’s Northern Sovereignty

September 20, 2021
Ottawa Journal (September 20 – September 24, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P. (Dufferin-Caledon)

The stark beauty and endless possibilities of Canada’s North has captivated generations of Canadians. Throughout our history, Canadians have drawn strength from those who showed courage and leadership in overcoming the great challenges of this vast land.

Our Government has always believed in defending and protecting Canada’s Arctic. Our future depends on our ability and willingness to appreciate and defend every part of Canada. Former Prime Minister John Diefenbaker believed that opening up the North would provide our country with: “A new vision! A new hope! A new soul for Canada.”

Diefenbaker’s vision of a limitless Northern future wasn’t shared by all Canadians. Between 1993 and 2002, the previous government didn’t send a single Canadian Forces ship into Arctic waters. Furthermore, the reduction of Canadian Armed Forces funding seriously reduced Canada’s ability to patrol our own territory.

In 2006, Canadians voted for change. Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, our Government has launched an ambitious four-part Northern Strategy, which includes asserting and defending Canada’s sovereignty; helping to protect the unique and fragile Arctic ecosystem; developing a strong Northern economy; and encouraging good governance, local control, and opportunity for Northerners.

Prime Minister Harper recently concluded his fifth annual summer tour of Canada’s North. Just after his arrival at Churchill Airport, the Prime Minister announced that our Government is investing to upgrade and improve that vital gateway to the Canadian Arctic to ensure that Canadians have access to necessary goods and services.
The Prime Minister also announced that Cambridge Bay, Nunavut has been chosen as the location of Canada’s new High Arctic Research Station. The new station will be a world-class, year-round and multidisciplinary facility to explore the cutting edge of Arctic science and technology. It will create jobs, foster economic and social development, and help us understand and protect the environment.

In addition, Prime Minister Harper reaffirmed our Government’s commitment to rebuild the Canadian Armed Forces during his stop in Resolute Bay, Nunavut. This operation is a major sovereignty exercise conducted by the Canadian Armed Forces, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian Coast Guard, and other governmental departments and agencies. Our Government’s Canada First Defence Strategy is providing our brave men and women in uniform with the tools and equipment needed to defend our sovereignty and keep us safe.

Prime Minister Harper has made the North a priority for our Government because it is a priority for Canadians.