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Prime Minister Harper Announces Plan to Identify and Defend Northern Resources

Prime Minister kicks off northern tour by expanding geo-mapping program

OTTAWA- The Canadian Government will use the full tools of modern geological science to encourage economic development and defend Canadian sovereignty throughout the North, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today.

“As I’ve said before, ‘use it or lose it’ is the first principle of sovereignty in the Arctic,” said the Prime Minister. “To develop the North we must know the North. To protect the North, we must control the North. And to accomplish all our goals for the North, we must be in the North.”

The geo-mapping program will combine field research and advanced scientific analysis to provide Canadians with a fuller assessment on the extent of mineral and energy resources in the Canadian North. This information will help generate additional investment and economic development in Canada’s Northern communities.

“We know from over a century of northern resource exploration that there is gas in the Beaufort, oil in the Eastern Arctic, and gold in the Yukon. There are diamonds in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, and countless other precious resources buried under the ice, sea and tundra,” said the Prime Minister. “But what we’ve found so far is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Managed properly, Canada’s share of this incredible endowment will fuel the prosperity of our country for generations. And geo-mapping will pave the way for the resource development of the future.”

The geo-mapping announcement is the latest example of the Government’s commitment to protecting Canada’s North. In the past week, Minister of Defence Peter MacKay has participated in Operation NANOOK, a major Canadian Forces Arctic Defence exercise, and Minister of the Environment John Baird has announced three new National Wildlife Areas on or around Baffin Island. Also this week, Secretary of State for Small Business Diane Ablonczy will also be announcing a major expansion of broadband services throughout the North.

PMO Press Office    8/26/2008


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