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Copyright © Graeme MacKay. Please check for MacKay's posting and publication rules by clicking here.
The Hamilton Spectator
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Saturday August 4, 2007
Russia’s actions at the North Pole show the importance of Canada defending its sovereignty in the Arctic, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Harper, speaking after a Conservative caucus meeting today, said he doesn’t know exactly what to make of Russia’s latest move — placing a Russian flag on the sea floor beneath the pole.

However, he said it shows Canada can’t be complacent about the North.

“It shows once again that sovereignty over the North and sovereignty in our Arctic is going to be an important issue as we move into the future.

“This government has put a real emphasis on northern and Arctic sovereignty and we will continue to do so and we will move quickly in that regard.”

The government plans to spend $7.5 billion to build and operate up to eight Arctic patrol ships in a bid to help protect northern sovereignty.

Earlier today, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Canada isn’t threatened by the Russian actions at the pole.

“This is posturing. This is the true north strong and free, and they’re fooling themselves if they think dropping a flag on the ocean floor is going to change anything. Source...

We must be vigilant about Arctic, Harper says
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