Northwest Passage: Arctic Dream
Description: If the [Northwest Passage] waterway becomes a regular shipping route, Canada will want, among other things, to cash in on the traffic. But before the country can do that, it will need to win the international debate over the status of the waterway.
Date: 11 March 2006
Author: Calvin Leung
Source: Canadian Business Magazine, Feb 27 – March 12, 2006
Riding a Ski-Doo in -30°C weather sounds like a surefire way to become a human Popsicle. But Melanie Howell claims the experience can be comfortable, even enjoyable. The trick, says the 31-year-old Iqaluit resident, isn't just what you put on your body--although she does rave about caribou-skin clothing--but what you put in it. "If you're eating traditional foods, like seal meat," she says, "you're going to be a lot warmer." Howell says she often picks up these kinds of tips in her role as a member of the Canadian Rangers, military reserves in sparsely populated coastal or isolated regions of the country. Ranger Howell says her duties are part-time and include at least one two-week-long operation per year. She could soon become a lot busier.
Revitalizing the Rangers is one part of the Conservative government's $5.3-billion plan to defend Canada's Arctic sovereignty...
If the [Northwest Passage] waterway becomes a regular shipping route, Canada will want, among other things, to cash in on the traffic. But before the country can do that, it will need to win the international debate over the status of the waterway.
The distinction makes a whale of a difference. If the passage is deemed Canadian, we have the right to charge ships a transit fee, says international lawyer Michael Byers, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia. We could also specify what kinds of vessels can enter the route, as well as regulate the activities of those ships. For example, Byers says, perhaps only double- rather than single-hulled oil tankers will be permitted in the passage for safety reasons. And maybe no ships will be allowed to dump their ballasts into the fragile Arctic environment, he adds. On the other hand, Byers says that if the passage is deemed international, there would be relatively few restrictions on ships passing through. "We don't want a Wild West in Canada's North," he says.
So how strong is our country's position? Visit the link below to read the complete article.