Mr. Putin is not someone any neighboring government should take lightly. With his billion dollar arms sales to Iran and Venezuela Putin has demonstrated his intention to keep the U.S. perpetually engaged in suppressing radical regimes and regional wars, while he pillages the last remaining economic treasure houses. Since Canada is the major victim of this very hostile initiative, the Harper government cannot afford to sit on its ass and fob off its responsibility to the new Democratic Party president soon to move into the White House. The protection of our sovereignty and our economic survival falls to our leaders, federal provincial and territorial.
Canadian Ranger volunteers - northern pride vs. Putin's mace.
In August of 2006 Prime Minister Harper visit the capital of Nunavit to announce a federal initiative to bolster our commitment to northern defence. DND planned to "revitalize" the Canadian Rangers, an all volunteer aboriginal force predicting it would be increased to 4,800 members by 2008. The truth is that the Rangers are maxed out. Every northern community which could contribute healthy, motivated manpower has already done so. Northern Pride has always been a great motivator but the North is changing. As the ice thins, new economic development is attracting natives who want to work, and these men have scant time to devote to Ranger training and patrols. The Kremlin will bargain heavily that the Harper government is already managing all of the military activity it can stomach - and that it is not prepared to upset the status quo in the north, by building permanent bases and inserting regular battalions which will quickly outnumber the thin native populations in several communities.
RED ICE is the new strategic reality. Putin has the muscle and are soft and getting softer. Ottawa thought the collapse of the Soviet regime meant that it could mothball our northern defences, redraw the national map, and hand over administration of our entire vast north to an inexperienced people. It was all great public relations, but it was also a clear signal to the Russians that there is are decided weaknesses in Canadian thinking which they could exploit. We can hardly blame them for walking through an open door.
Update August 2008: Durham university - new Arctic Ocean map.
This is new chart released by Durham university which shows the many claims to Arctic resources. Their are so many conflicting jurisdictions and boundaries that a guide is essential. If you click on the link it will take you to Durham's webpage suporting the chart.