ARCTIC VIGNETTES

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Arctic Sovereignty Documentary Film

 

Jane first visited Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, which encompasses a large chunk of Arctic Canada, in March 1999, just before its “creation.” From the fate of the iconic polar bear to global warming, what happens in the Arctic, affects all inhabitants of the planet. It’s a cold fact: the ice is melting, which in turn is speeding global warming. Open water absorbs far more heat from the sun than highly reflective ice. Jane witnessed these changes aboard Canada’s largest icebreaker the CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent navigating the Northwest Passage. The vessel’s principal missions are science and seabed mapping. She has also had unique access to the Canadian Forces annual sovereignty exercises in the Arctic. 2013 is going to be a pivotal year for Canada and all Arctic states.
May 2013 is when Canada takes over the chair of the Arctic Council for two years. The United States is scheduled to take over the lead in 2015.

November 2013 is when Canada has to submit and present it’s seabed mapping data as per the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

Just as Arctic politics take centre stage today, Canada and the other Northern nations must confront shared polar realities from climate change to how best to handle the new economics. There is a development boom underway, including trans-Arctic shipping, oil and gas development and tourism.

The Arctic Council states – Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States (Alaska) – all face incredible challenges posed by the Arctic’s geography, infrastructure and climate as well as military-aboriginal issues.

The Inuit do not always feel that they are part of the “dialogue.”

Over a third of the population of Nunavut is under the age of 15, which is around twice as high as the rest of Canada. But, sadly, the dreams of many of Canada’s young Arctic inhabitants do not materialize due to the lack of job opportunities, isolation, and complex social problems. Overall, the Inuit tend to live up to 15 years less than other Canadians.

Arctic Canada comprises around 40% of Canada’s landmass, including the 19,000 islands of the Arctic Archipelago. The fragile Arctic ecosystem is under threat as a result of global warming and pollution.

Key Points

    • Arctic Canada comprises around 40% of Canada’s landmass.

 

    • May 2013 – Canada begins a two-year term as Chair of the Arctic Council, an intergovernmental forum for Arctic governments and peoples.

 

    • November  2013 – Canada must submit its findings by November 2013. Seabed mapping data as per the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

 

  •  The Arctic Council states – Canada, Denmark (Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Russia and the United States (Alaska) – all face incredible challenges posed by the Arctic’s geography, infrastructure and climate as well as military-aboriginal issues.

 

Investigative Research

Keeping the Peace: Canada’s Peacekeeping Legacy

Arctic Sovereignty is in the early stages of production. Find out more about how you can get involved in supporting this documentary.

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