Monday, December 10, 2007

Dion: Liberals would station search planes in Arctic to protect sovereignty.

It would seem to make sense to station the planes in the north as a means of saving fuel as well! Perhaps there are technical problems that make it difficult to locate the planes in the north.
The idea of an Arctic ambassador is a good one. Dion could send Michael Ignatieff or Bob Rae to Resolute Bay and have a lot more indenpendence in Ottawa.

Liberals would station search planes in Arctic to protect sovereignty: Dion
Last Updated: Sunday, December 9, 2007 | 10:51 PM ET
CBC News
Opposition Leader St├ęphane Dion, who completed a three-day Arctic tour Sunday, said that stationing search-and-rescue planes in the North will help protect Canada's sovereignty in the region.

Currently, aircraft from more southerly bases such as Trenton and Winnipeg respond to search-and-rescue requests in the Arctic.

Dion, who was in Cambridge Bay on Saturday as part of his tour, said a Liberal government would locate two search-and-research planes in Iqaluit and two in Yellowknife.

"You want to show to the world that you care about your own sovereignty, save the lives of the people in trouble, and it's what we'll do," he said.

Dion dismissed the Conservative government's plan to build new northern patrol ships, calling them "slush boats" because of their limited ice breaking capability.

The Liberal leader also said he would encourage more development in the North as a way of keeping it Canadian.

He also pledged to re-establish an ambassador for the Arctic, which he says the Conservatives have shamefully cut.

But a spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay countered that Dion's Liberal party was in power for a decade and all but ignored the North, while pointing to several government military commitments in the region.

Dion said he plans to highlight the experiences from his Arctic trip when he meets with international leaders about climate change on the Indonesian island of Bali.

He said he wants to raise awareness about the massive infrastructure woes that will be caused by melting permafrost and the potential for species to

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