Northwest Passage – a robust Canadian response

Yesterday the White House issued its new policy on the Arctic, a test of Canadian sovereignty in our northern regions.

In his final days in power, President George W. Bush asserted U. S. military “sea power” over the oil-rich Arctic on Monday, in another forceful rebuttal of Canada’s claims of sovereignty over the Northwest Passage.

The White House formally released the text of a sweeping new directive on the Arctic, two years in the making, just eight days before Barack Obama is to be sworn in as the 44th U. S. president and on the same day as Bush held his final White House news conference as president.

Key elements of Bush’s policy challenge the ambitious Arctic sovereignty agenda put forth by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that includes bolstering Canada’s military presence and fostering economic and social development. The Bush directive reiterates the Northwest Passage is an international waterway–a rebuttal of Canada’s claim of sovereignty over what is emerging as a major global shipping route because of the shrinking polar ice cap –and it highlights the boundary dispute in the resource-rich Beaufort Sea.


In a related article, Premier Floyd Roland of the Northwest Territories is calling for a robust Canadian response. (source)

I concur.

As a very important part of a robust Canadian response I urge you to get over to the CBC Radio 2 website and vote for “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers, as one of the 49 songs to be presented to President-Elect Barack Obama.  The song has made the shortlist of 100 nominees, but it belongs in the top 49.  In fact it should become our new national anthem.

To vote, click here.  Voting ends Friday, January 16 at 11 p.m. ET so don’t delay.

UPDATE 2009-01-20:  According to the CBC Radio 2 blog, the top 5 vote-getters in the “English Pop Folk etc.” category were:

Closer to the Heart – Rush
Canadian Railroad Trilogy – Gordon Lightfoot
Hallelujah – k.d. lang
Democracy – Leonard Cohen
Northwest Passage – Stan Rogers

(now does anyone actually expect President Obama to spend time listening to these 49 songs?)

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