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Canadian Forces Assist With Survey of Arctic Seabed

by NationTalk on April 19, 2008519 Views

NR–08.001 – April 18, 2008

OTTAWA—A Canadian Air Force CP-140 Aurora long-range patrol aircraft will deploy to northern Canada in mid-April to help survey the Arctic seabed. Natural Resources Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have been conducting Arctic surveys over the last three years to acquire the scientific data needed to substantiate Canada’s submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, as provided for by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Government of Canada takes its submission to the UN Commission very seriously as is demonstrated by its coordinated effort to provide all the resources necessary to complete this important project.“Obviously, this is very important research for the Government of Canada and the Canadian Forces are proud to play a part,” said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “The Forces’ primary responsibility is the defence of Canada, and this is yet another example of the added value the Canadian Forces bring everyday across Canada in defence of our sovereignty and values.

“Our commitment to this initiative, as well as other investments in the North, are ultimately about turning potential into prosperity for this remarkable region, and for our country as a whole,” said the Honourable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, during a recent trip to Canada’s most northernly community, Grise Fjord Nunavut, where Canadian scientists are successfully collecting geological data of the Polar Continental Shelf.

“The Canadian Forces have a wide range of unique capabilities that are frequently made available to support other government departments and agencies,” said Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, Commander, Canada Command. “In fact, Canada Command was created two years ago in part to ensure that our partners across government have a single point of contact to coordinate this kind of Canadian Forces support.”

Natural Resources Canada’s current research is being led from a base camp 150 kilometres north of Eureka, Nunavut, off Ellesmere Island. The Aurora, based out of 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S., will be supporting a survey of the Alpha Ridge, on the western coast of Ellesmere Island. The survey will help confirm Canada’s sovereign rights under UNCLOS beyond 200 nautical miles. Using its underwater sensors, and with the support of personnel from Defence Research and Development Canada, the Aurora will significantly extend the reach of data collection efforts.

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Note to editors: For additional information contact Captain Steve Neta, Air Force Public Affairs, Winnipeg, MB, at (204) 833-2500, ext 6795; or, Bobbi-Jo Bradley, DRDC Public Affairs, Ottawa, ON, at (613) 992-7237.

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