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U.S. and Canada 'must develop a plan now'

In just a few decades, the Northwest Passage may be navigable year-round. In fact, as climate change melts the ice, it may soon become the preferred commercial route from the U.S. to Asia. That's why a White House adviser is saying Canada and the U.S. need to come to an agreement on use of the waters now, before ship traffic grows. This may be a complicated endeavour, however - as this 2006 CBC Radio News clip points out, the U.S. still doesn't accept Canadian claims of sovereignty over the Northwest Passage. 
• During the 2006 election campaign, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made it a campaign promise to defend Canada's Arctic sovereignty.
• In January 2006, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, stated publicly that America simply doesn't recognize Canadian claims to sovereignty of the passage. He added that most other countries don't recognize those claims either. The newly elected Prime Minister Harper made headlines when he later rebuked Wilkins' statement: "The Canadian government will defend our sovereignty... It is the Canadian people we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States."
Medium: Radio Program: World Report Broadcast Date: June 15, 2006 Guest(s): John Amagoalik, George Newton Reporter: Josee Bellemare Duration: 1:50

Last updated: January 18, 2012

Page consulted on April 3, 2013

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