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Published on March 4th, 2012 at 17:13
| Updated at 5:13 p.m.
North: Ottawa prepares to thaw a seaway
The village of Salluit, in which reservists from the 35th-clamping of Canada Group will practice from 5 March 2012. PHOTOTHÈQUE LE SOLEIL
(QUÉBEC) Enemy intrusion, resource development, community safety. The reasons why Ottawa is preparing its forces for future deployments in the North are multiple. Among them, both good and less good.
The famous Northwest Passage linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans through the islands of northern Canada is central to the interests (mainly economic) supported by Canada and other nations. The thawing of the projected traffic lane to shorten thousands of kilometers the path of cargo between certain commercial areas of the planet.
"It is important to mention that these are projections. There is nothing that justifies in 2012 deployments in the North. In a future 5, 10 or even 30 years, perhaps," says Professor Stéphane Roussel at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQUÀM) and holds the Canada Research Chair in foreign policy and Canadian defense. In fact, all these preparations are based on the possible thawing of the passageway, which could become useful in the year.
In terms of infrastructure, the Harper government has already announced the development of a military training camp in Resolute Bay
on Cornwallis Island, the construction of a deepwater port at Nanisivik
, on the north end of Baffin Island and the construction of ships hulls strengthened
"We can expect a greater human presence in the North in a few years [if predictions of melting are confirmed]. The exploration of oil and gas resources and even the cruise business will bring a lot of people. The government must be able to ensure the safety of people attending its territory disaster: a spill, grounding, a plane crash or other specialist lists. We are talking about possible deployments of the military based on an argument of public safety and service delivery to citizens. It holds the road."