Friday, August 24, 2007

So much for sovereignty in the Northwest Passage

This is from a speech by Michael Byers. The entire speech is in an earlier posting to this blog. The NORAD agreement includes now the sharing of Maritime surveillance. We provide the US with intelligence about the passage even though the US does not even recognise it as in Canada's jurisdiction. The US has not changed its tune. However Bush mentioned that the US supports Canada's arctic claims--against Russia no doubt and perhaps even Denmark!

The report was very very clear that its preferred option was full integration, the option that had been floated internally in 2002, the assignment of Canadian Forces to what looked like an expanded NORAD, to an umbrella command where operational control would ultimately rest with the US military.

Some steps have been taken in that direction, including, last year, the NORAD agreement to expand the sharing of maritime surveillance including within the Northwest Passage. It wasn't much noticed at the time. Only one party opposed it in Parliament, the New Democratic Party of Canada.

When the report actually came out and was put up on the website of the Bi-National Planning Group, some smart people, including possibly the Prime Minister of Canada, decided that you were not yet ready for this. That somehow it wasn't the time to make the public case for the full integration of Canadian and US forces because Mr. Harper didn't get that majority he so desperately desired. And so it was shuffled away once again, it disappeared off the website, and the Bi-National Planning Group was shut down, and who knows what they're talking about in Montebello.

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