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Senate calls on Canada to take a firm stand on Arctic sovereignty

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A Canadian Senate committee on Wednesday called for a stronger defense of the country’s sovereignty in the Arctic as retreating ice brings increased foreign interest in far north resources and navigation.

In a report, the committee said Ottawa must regulate shipping and enhance maritime and aerial surveillance in the Arctic, as well as improve the Canadian Coast Guard’s icebreaking capacity, and equip Inuit Rangers with marine capabilities in order to project its authority over the vast and rugged region.
The committee also warned that simmering geopolitical conflicts risked spilling into waters surrounding the expansive Arctic archipelago claimed by Canada.

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According to the latest estimates, Canada’s Arctic is warming at three times the global average rate.

The 3.5-million-square-kilometer region, which the US Geological Survey thinks could hold vast amounts of undiscovered oil and natural gas reserves, is home to only 100,000 people.

But melting ice is opening a shorter shipping route between the Pacific and the Atlantic — connecting markets in Europe and Asia.

The Senate report, titled “Northern Lights,” was released as Ottawa is updating its Arctic policy framework.

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It notes only one dispute over land in the Arctic — tiny Hans Island, which both Canada and Greenland claim.

Canada and the United States are also at odds over a maritime boundary in the Beaufort Sea. Canada says the boundary should run along the 141st meridian, while the US has argued for the use of the equidistance principle, which more closely reflects the direction of the respective coast lines.

The US also disputes Canada’s control of the Northwest Passage, connecting the Davis Strait and Baffin Bay in the east to the Bering Strait in the west.

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As recently as last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Canada’s claim to the waterway “illegitimate.”

Canada in May filed a continental shelf submission to the United Nations to establish its Arctic claim under the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea.

The US, however, has not ratified the UNCLOS treaty.

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The report notes that some parts of Canada’s claim overlap with Russian and Danish submissions, but concludes that Russia is unlikely to challenge Canada’s claim to the Northwest Passage as it would undermine its hold on the Northern Sea Route.

China has sidestepped issues of Canadian Arctic sovereignty, while its investment and shipping activities have largely been in the Russian Arctic.

But Beijing is not likely to want the US and Russia to “have safe sanctuary in the Arctic,” and so is likely to add Arctic capabilities to engage both in the far north, Arctic expert Robert Huebert told the committee.

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International law professor Suzanne Lalonde noted that the first Chinese vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage in 2017 did not ask Canada’s permission, but Canadian scientists were invited onboard the Xue Long.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Saudi doctor yanked from flight after woman freaks out over his ‘see you on the other side’ remark

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A Muslim doctor was removed from an American Airlines flight out of Florida after a woman misunderstood a remark he made to his wife in a phone call.

Abdulaziz Al Mana, a medical resident at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, was flying in June to Washington, D.C., to visit his wife when he noticed the woman seated next to him acting nervously as the plane taxied onto the runway, reported the Miami New Times.

The woman slipped a note to a flight attendant, and the captain then announced the plane would be turned around for a passenger emergency.

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‘Pro-life’ Christians reveal they really don’t care about fetuses — they just want to control women’s bodies: survey

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According to a new poll, anti-abortion advocates also tend to hold views that are hostile to gender equality. The Guardian’s Jill Filipovic says the results show that the anti-abortion movement is more concerned with controlling women’s bodies than they are about the “sanctity of life.”

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Trump thinks he’s ‘the chosen one’ for one really preposterous reason

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Even for a bottomless pit of narcissism like Donald Trump, Wednesday was an exceptional day for self-aggrandizement. Early in the day, Trump tweeted quotes from one of his more sycophantic — and unhinged — followers, Wayne Allyn Root, calling Trump the "King of Israel" and "the second coming of God." Later that day, when speaking to reporters, Trump embraced the prophet identity again, calling himself "the Chosen One," in response to a question about trade dealings with China.

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