On Thin Ice: Canada's Arctic Policy and Environmental Security
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When it comes do defending its Arctic sovereignty claims, Canada has a history of relying on an environmental protection argument to support its position. Claiming that the disputed waterways and territory would benefit from stricter environmental protection by falling under Canadian jurisdiction is an idea that dates back to the 1970s, the implementation of the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act. By proclaiming itself steward of the Arctic’s environment, the Canadian government has since established a clear link between its Arctic sovereignty and environmental protection, a relationship where the latter is dependent on the former. This research looks at Canada’s Arctic policies to demonstrate how environmental protection has been used as a soft form of influence to buttress sovereignty claims as well as how environmental protection compares in importance to Canada’s other objectives in the Arctic.