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Canada Joins Arctic Fray
Description: 'Sovereignty Operation' to Challenge U.S., Russia
Date: 08 August 2007
Author: Craig Offman
Source: National Post

As Russian scientists returning from their Arctic mission were greeted like cosmonauts in Moscow yesterday, the U.S. Coast Guard dispatched an icebreaker toward the Bering Sea. And Canada sent out Operation Nanook 07, a 600-member joint forces team billed a "sovereignty operation" to the unlikely hot spot.

"There's a lot of science going on, but these events also take on the character of a space race," said University of British Columbia international law expert Michael Byers. "We need to think of this as our moon mission, and that requires the same degree of political commitment. We're playing with the big boys here."

The science described by Prof. Byers pertains to the Arctic countries -- Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States -- that are jockeying for command over untapped oil, gas and mineral reserves in the melting waters.

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