Shelagh Grant talks to Macleans about her new book, Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America, and she’s rather less than optimistic about the future:
In the last three months, China — which claims to be building the world’s largest icebreaker — has been having very quiet meetings with Canadian officials, and they claim their interest in the Arctic is science, which means investigating the opportunities in seabed mining. And a report that came out from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute was called “China Prepares for an Ice-Free Arctic.” If you gather all these Chinese initiatives in the last few months—and China has now requested observer status at the Arctic Council — I believe it signals their intention to become a major player in future governance of the Arctic and economic development. I don’t think the Canadian federal government has really figured that into its strategy yet. Certainly they haven’t told the public. China and the independence of Greenland are the future wild cards, and the future is unstable.
You can find the full interview here: Do we really own the Arctic? The Interview — Macleans.ca. (Link fixed)
Though there seemed to be some delay in getting the book shipped as of the announced publication date of May 1, Amazon now says it’s now available at their site.
If it’s even half as good as Sovereignty Or Security?: Government Policy in the Canadian North, 1936-1951, published in 1989, Polar Imperative will surely become a must read.