Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mr. Harper, is it true that if you don't use it, you lose it?

What's this all about Guys??

Canadian prime minister-designate Stephen Harper took aim at the American ambassador's criticism of the Conservatives' Arctic sovereignty plan on Thursday, in the party leader's first news conference since winning a minority government. "The United States defends its sovereignty and the Canadian government will defend our sovereignty," Harper told reporters in Ottawa. "It is the Canadian people we get our mandate from, not the ambassador of the United States."

A day earlier, David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, said his government opposes Harper's proposed plan to deploy military icebreakers in the Arctic to detect interlopers and assert Canadian sovereignty over those waters.

"There's no reason to create a problem that doesn't exist," Wilkins said as he took part in a forum at the University of Western Ontario in London.
"We don't recognize Canada's claims to those waters... Most other countries do not recognize their claim."

During the federal election campaign, which culminated in Harper's win earlier this week, the Conservatives promised to spend $5.3 billion over five years to defend northern waters against the Americans, Russians and Danes.
"Sovereignty is something, you use it or you lose it," Harper said at the pre-Christmas announcement in Winnipeg.

So, let me get this straight: the US doesn't recognize that water NORTH of Canada are actaully Canadian waters? And having armed "ice breakers" going through the Arctic...breaking ice that normal ships do not get protecting Canadian border more than miles and miles of frozen ocean that no normal ship can get through??

"Woohaahh! Hey guys look over there!
Yeah, some WEIRD animals on that boat.."


Lindsay Lobe said...

Maybe Harper could use some of that expenditure to help preserve that wilderness with assistance of scientists from the Canadian Polar Commission.

In our Antarctic region there are 45 countries including Canada who are parties to the Antarctic Treaty which protects that pristine environment.

Australia led a mining prohibition protocol banning any mining for 50 years. Any subsequent review after that period needs a vote of 75% from the consultative partners to consider any changes to the protocol.

I an nor sure what Harper is defending or who these interlopers are? but I think border protection is an emotive issue that "well packaged spin" can help sway voter intention, as it did I think in the recent elections. I should Know as we have had so much of it down under.

Pirate said...

Canadians are seen in the US as the jealous cousin. The only reason we ever think of them is when they contrive some controversy by making uncomely remarks. Without Michael J Fox, William Shatner, Neil Young, Paul Schaffer, Peter Jennings, k.d. lang, Anne Murray and Moose drool beer what use are they?

JEFM said...

Well, let them deal with this between themselves.


Kathleen Callon said...

I'm sorry my country is mostly run by a bunch of warmongering idiots.

Tina said...

How funny it is that the US would get their feathers all ruffled over the claim to waters north of Canada, yet the US says not 1 single word to Mexico when our border patrol has footage of armed Mexican soldiers crossing our borders.

Oh silly me... that's right. If Canadians were illegally crossing our borders and being put to work as slave labor, they might actually stand up and demand fair treatment and wages, and that would piss BushCo off.
Whereas Mexicans desperate to escape their cycle of poverty and try to have a better life will do anything to get inside the US. So, they break the law and illegally over ride the US's right to decide who comes into our nation to get here and work as slaves. As long as the corporations keep making obscene profits off of the backs of these illegals and dump some of that money into BushCo's coffers, the US doesn't make a fuss, do they?

Worried said...

Sometimes it appears that politicians are of the juvenile mentality playing "King of the Mountain"

Worried said...

Also, the ice breaker plan sounds much like the pork barrel plan of one of our fearless leaders to build that costly "bridge to nowhere".

Progressive Traditionalist said...

Those icebreakers are going to ruin the hockey in the arctic -- sure to displease Canadians.

Mother Damnable said...

"Sometimes it appears that politicians are of the juvenile mentality playing "King of the Mountain"

It seems that way ALL the time to me Worried American!

I think the main problem is because they are there by default i.e. no one else wants the job!

Or by nepotism in the case of Bush.

Love the pic of the bears Dimitri :>)

Zee said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Zee said...

Hmmm, I thought you were in Basel, Switzerland - and took some pictures from the wrong side of the Rhine river. Instead I see cute polar bears...

BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Interesting post.

I know nothing about the ANtarctic and its treaty. Thank you for illuminating my mind on this subject!

Badoozie said...

i'm not even able to focus on your main point because of that mans hair. he has helmet head, unmovable, moves as a unit, is it a rug? is that a dead squirrel? what is that on his head? i can't stop looking at it. can i touch it? would i ever get my hand back, or would it be stuck.

MARYBETH said...

Hi Da,
Judging from your previous post to this one, you have a good "GRASP" of our " LOVELY" administration here in the USofA!
C'mon..- GDUBYA CAN, HAS and WILL do ANYTHING * EVERYTHING he and his COMPADRES want to!
THe best part of this New YEar, is KNOWING we are now only 22 months from a NEW ELECTION!
cant wait for 08 =)

Worried said...

Jealous?? How odd.

I love the bears, too, Dimitri. A great photo.

Gary said...

Susie - you have to see the hair when he actually moves! It is truly amazing.

As for Arctic waters - the US has been running submarines through Canadian icy waters for years and really don't want to be stopped. Also, as global warming progresses, the Northwest Shipping passage will open - guess who would like to use it without asking?

I can only imagine what the US would think about someone declaring the waters off NY or California to be international...

As for Pirate - his comment 'what use are they?' (referring to Canadians) may or may not have been meant to be sarcastic (his posts are usually pretty cool) - but it does seem to be the American government attitude to every other nation "What use are they to us?"

Sinkchicken said...

Like you say Gary (though I don't know Pirate so I'll check him out and try to decipher this comment). Being a Canadian myself (and having voted against Harper) I hope he's joking, Pirate that is, cause it's sooooo easy to get the tone of a post/email/comment wrong (so apologies in advance Pirate if this wasn't your intention). Otherwise, just another dumb American buying into the we're the boss of the world delusion. And your comment about what if Canada declared unilaterally that waters off California were suddenly international? Perfect. Anyway, I don't want to see us all fighting and having the big guns brought out, that's just dumb. And let's not let our politicians get us seeing each other as enemies. He's leading a minority government btw, a majority of people here didn't want him in power, but we've got like 3 trillion different parties so the votes tend to get split!

Sinkchicken said...

Oh yeah, and as for moose drool beer....well, don't blame us, they ain't even Canadian anymore, Americans own em now.