Friday, September 26, 2008

Sodden footware

A letter in the Ottawa Citizen, Sept. 26:
Areas of dispute

Re: Boots on tundra, Sept. 23.

Letter-writer Bob Lidstone writes that "Simply put, a failure on Canada's part to put our boots on our Arctic tundra will inevitably result in someone else's being there." Hardly.

Mr. Lidstone has fallen victim to the efforts of the Conservative government to stoke jingoistic fervour [for example] over the north. In fact no one except the Danes (Hans Island) has any claim on any Canadian land in the north. Foreign countries are about as likely to invade the north as they are to invade Newfoundland.

The areas of dispute are the status in maritime law of the Northwest Passage; the maritime boundary in the Beaufort Sea between the U.S. and Canada; and the economic rights to the Arctic seabed in offshore areas beyond various countries' coastal 320-kilometre exclusive economic zones.

Boots on the tundra will be of little help in asserting Canadian claims in any of these cases.

Mark Collins,


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