Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Canada tightens grip on disputed Arctic

As we pointed out in Oh Canada, Russia Eyes up a Frozen Asset, sometimes you just have to let a Navy sail. I didn't however, think it would be the U.S. protesting. Denmark maybe.

From the Houston Chronicle:

..."Canada has a choice when it comes to defending our sovereignty over the Arctic. We either use it or lose it. And make no mistake, this government intends to use it," Harper said. "It is no exaggeration to say that the need to assert our sovereignty and protect our territorial integrity in the North on our terms have never been more urgent."

U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins has criticized Harper's promise to defend the Arctic, claiming the Northwest Passage as "neutral waters." But Wilkins declined to comment on Monday, said U.S. Embassy spokesman James Foster.

...In 1984, Denmark's minister for Greenland affairs, Tom Hoeyem, caused a stir when he flew in on a chartered helicopter, raised a Danish flag on the island, buried a bottle of brandy at the base of the flagpole and left a note saying: "Welcome to the Danish island."

The dispute flared again two years ago when former Canadian Defense Minister Bill Graham set foot on the rock while Canadian troops hoisted the Maple Leaf flag.

Denmark sent a letter of protest to Ottawa, while Canadians and Danes took out competing Google ads, each proclaiming sovereignty over the rock 680 miles south of the North Pole.