Military aids northern infrastructure

Canada’s military is part of the growing civil infrastructure in the Canadian Arctic, said Canada’s defence minister.

TORONTO — Canada’s military is part of the growing civil infrastructure in the Canadian Arctic, said Canada’s defence minister.

Speaking through a video released after bad weather prevented him from speaking in person, Peter MacKay told an international conference on Arctic governance in Toronto that the army, navy and air force contribute to civilian goals in the North as well as military ones.

“As National Defence develops and refurbishes much of our Northern infrastructure as part of our overall modernization of the Canadian Forces, we are committed to making our defence installations accessible and usable by other government departments,” MacKay told the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Conference.

MacKay pointed to the Arctic Training Centre being built in Resolute, Nunavut. The facility is being funded by both the defence and natural resources departments and will be used by scientists and military personnel on training missions.

As well, MacKay said the Canadian Rangers, together with the Junior Rangers and Cadets, are highly prized by the military and northern communities.

MacKay added that it’s the military that is responsible for all search and rescue operations throughout the North, pointing to a plane crash last summer that happened during annual military exercises.

“Tragically, 12 people lost their lives in that crash, but the situation could have been far worse,” he said.

“We were fortunate that Canadian Forces personnel were in the area and prepping for such an exercise, and that they were able to respond as quickly, given that we had helicopter assets on the scene almost immediately to help rescue the three survivors, and evacuate them to Iqaluit for emergency medical treatment.”

MacKay said his department is committed to working with northerners and promised to convey the lessons learned to other branches of government.

“We have learned many lessons from our ambitious defence agenda in the North and our department is prepared to share our experiences and solutions and to hear from others as to how we benefit Northern communities, research and our understanding of Northern issues.”

MacKay was addressing a conference presented by the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and the Munk School of Global Affairs. The conference was being held to discuss the future of the Arctic Council, which Canada will lead for two years beginning in April 2013.

Just Posted

Truck crashes into Red Deer pub

Driver arrested and faces charges

Diesel spilled in Penhold neighbourhood

Penhold Fire Department responded

Red Deer woman dies in head-on collision

Coronation RCMP investigate

Rebels drop home opener to Oil Kings

The Edmonton Oil Kings were simply better than the Red Deer Rebels… Continue reading

House fire in Penhold

Damage estimated at $30,000

RDC Kings topple Medicine Hat College Rattlers

Kings Matheus Alves scores twice in the win

The Latest: Cosby judge weighs hearing on ‘predator’ status

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sentencing hearing (all times… Continue reading

Mystery around disappearance of Chinese star Fan Bingbing

BEIJING — X-Men star Fan Bingbing’s Beijing management office is dark and… Continue reading

Will Smith bungee jump is latest stunt near Grand Canyon

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — At the end of the 1991 movie “Thelma &… Continue reading

Score! Scrabble dictionary adds ‘OK,’ ‘ew’ to official play

NEW YORK — Scrabble players, time to rethink your game because 300… Continue reading

Actor James Woods bashes Twitter after getting locked out

MINNEAPOLIS — Actor James Woods has been locked out of his Twitter… Continue reading

Mandela: A life of soaring symbolism, now harnessed by UN

JOHANNESBURG — Nelson Mandela’s South African journey from anti-apartheid leader to prisoner… Continue reading

The Latest: UN leader calls drug problem ‘alarming’

CAMEROON, Cameroon — The Latest on the United Nations General Assembly (all… Continue reading

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

UNITED NATIONS, N.Y. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has arrived at the… Continue reading

Most Read