Statement made on 12 February 2009 by Senator Willie Adams (retired)
Hon. Willie Adams:
Honourable senators, my question is to the Leader of the Government in the Senate regarding relations between Canada and the United States in the area of Arctic sovereignty. I recognize that there is a relationship between Denmark, the United States and Russia. I believe the Northwest Passage belongs to Canada.
We have been studying the passage in the Arctic, especially the adjacent strait with Greenland. We have a 12-mile limit that has been settled in a land claim, just like the rest of Canada.
Between the land and the water, Nunavut owns 60 per cent of the coastline in Canada through the Nunavut land claim. The rest of Canada — B.C., Yukon, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador — owns only 40 per cent.
We heard from Fisheries and Oceans Canada that foreigners travelling to Baffin do not have to report to Canada until they are 12 miles inside the boundary of Nunavut. My concern is the future of Arctic sovereignty. I hope Canada and other countries will recognize that the Arctic belongs to Canada. Next week, President Obama is coming to meet with Prime Minister Harper. I hope that in relations between Canada and other countries, the sovereignty of the Arctic is recognized.
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