Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Northern Sovereignty

I caught word today that Arctic Bay was due to have some special visitors, though I think this is quite doubtful because of our current weather situation. Canada's latest northern sovereignty exercise, Operation Nanook 08, is on the go and Defence Minister Peter MacKay and the Chief of the Defense Staff are due to visit a select number of northern communities, Arctic Bay being one of them.

One of the scenarios involves a cruise ship which I find quite timely as I was told that during this summer a number of cruise line passengers were en route from Resolute Bay were stranded here in Arctic Bay due to drifting pack ice and a malfunctioning aircraft. If the Northwest Passage becomes ice-free summer long, it makes sense that the powers that be must be able to deal with this and other such emergencies.

According to the news articles I have read, the original plan was that MacKay would be here in part to observe the Canadian military's abilities to carry out this exercise. Part of me hopes MacKay would also make an announcement to upgrade some of the equipment that is due to take part in this exercise. Aurora aircraft - pride of early 1980's. I may be wrong here but aren't the Auroras old turbo-prop aircraft?? Really, I'm not a war-monger here. I'm a lover not a fighter, truly. But it makes sense that if you're going to do a job and do it well then you should have reliable and up-to-date equipment. After all, here you have to have good equipment and be prepared. The weather can be a real challenge as Mother Nature is most certainly demonstrating at the moment.