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U.S. to Drop Arctic Claim
Description: Michael Byers comments on the ongoing Canada-US dispute over the Arctic waters.
Date: 26 January 2006
Author: Doug Struck
Source: The Washington Post - Foreign Service
TORONTO, Jan. 26 -- Stephen Harper, elected Monday as prime minister, warned the United States on Thursday to back off from its challenge of Canadian sovereignty in Arctic waters that are fast thawing from global warming.

In the first news conference since his election, Harper upbraided the U.S. ambassador for asserting that the icy polar regions, including the legendary Northwest Passage, are international waters...

"The changing ice conditions are driving this issue to the top of the political agenda," said Michael Byers, an international law expert at the University of British Columbia.

"We've essentially been able to avoid problems over this in the past because the ice has been too thick and too hard to make it a commercially viable route," Byers said. "But, of course, the ice is melting."

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