Blair highlights importance of Northern hubs in Canada’s new defence policy

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Northern hubs to be pillar of Canada’s new defence policy, Blair says



“**Investing in Infrastructure and People: Key to Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty**

In a recent roundtable meeting, three federal ministers highlighted the crucial role of infrastructure and the people of the North in securing Canada’s Arctic sovereignty. The Liberal government’s new defence policy, Our North, Strong and Free, emphasizes the establishment of northern operational support hubs as a cornerstone for military operations in the region.

**The Importance of Northern Operational Support Hubs**

Federal Defence Minister Bill Blair underscored the significance of these hubs, which will serve as strategic locations for Canadian Armed Forces aircraft and supply storage. The development of these hubs will necessitate government investments in essential infrastructure such as energy, water supply, and communication networks. Moreover, Blair emphasized the potential for economic growth and job creation in the North through these initiatives.

**Empowering Northern Communities**

The meeting also addressed the government’s commitment to prioritizing the well-being and development of the people living in the Arctic. Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal highlighted the importance of empowering local communities through investments in housing and infrastructure. This includes the implementation of a $4 billion Indigenous housing policy aimed at addressing housing needs in urban, rural, and northern areas.

**Collaboration and Partnerships**

Recognizing the colonial history of Arctic defence policies, the ministers stressed the importance of collaboration with Northern Indigenous leadership and organizations. By working together and valuing diverse perspectives, the government aims to foster meaningful partnerships that respect the rights and interests of all stakeholders.

**Challenges and Threats**

In addition to addressing the need for enhanced defence capabilities in response to Russia’s increased presence in the Arctic, the ministers highlighted the looming threat of climate change in the region. With the Arctic becoming more accessible due to melting ice, the potential for increased trade routes and geopolitical competition poses a new set of challenges for Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.

**Conclusion**

As Canada navigates the complex landscape of Arctic security and sovereignty, investments in infrastructure and community development emerge as pivotal strategies. By prioritizing the needs and aspirations of Northern communities, while adapting to shifting geopolitical dynamics and environmental changes, Canada can strengthen its position in the Arctic. Collaborative partnerships, inclusive policies, and sustainable investments will be essential in safeguarding Canada’s interests and asserting its sovereignty in the region.”



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