Joint Task Force (North)

Joint Task Force (North)

March 27, 2008 12:46 ET

Canada Asserts Sovereignty in the High Arctic

YELLOWKNIFE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES--(Marketwire - March 27, 2008) - From late March to mid-April, the Canadian Forces will conduct Operation NUNALIVUT 08, a joint sovereignty operation in Canada's High Arctic. This year's operation will include air surveillance and Canadian Rangers patrols along the west coast of Ellesmere Island between Eureka and Canadian Forces Station Alert, which is the northernmost permanent settlement in the world. All of the patrols will then meet back in Eureka on April 13.

In addition to projecting sovereignty in this remote region of Canada, this year's operation will assist International Polar Year scientists to conduct research on the Ellesmere Island ice shelves.

"This Government is committed to protecting Canada's security and asserting our sovereignty in the North. Operation NUNALIVUT is but one example of how the Canadian Forces are contributing to this goal," said the Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

"The Canadian Rangers are important partners in protecting Canada and asserting its sovereignty in the North, which is why the Government is increasing the size of the Rangers from 4,100 to 5,000 this year," the minister added.

Operation NUNALIVUT 08, which means "land that is ours," is one of three joint sovereignty operations conducted every year by the CF in Canada's North. This operation will be conducted with the participation of the Canadian Rangers and the Air Force, under the command of Joint Task Force (North) (JTFN).

One of six regional commands reporting to Canada Command in Ottawa, JTFN is responsible for the conduct of all routine and contingency operations in Canada's North.

"By conducting these patrols we're projecting Canadian sovereignty in the High Arctic, and providing a boots-on-the-ground Canadian Forces patrol presence," said Brig.-Gen. Chris Whitecross, the Commander of JTFN.

"It's also important to conduct these patrols to test and grow our capability to operate in what really is one of the harshest environments in the world," she added.

The aim of the scientific research conducted on Operation NUNALIVUT 08 will be to provide a comprehensive survey of the current characteristics and stability of the Northern Ellesmere Island ice shelves and associated aquatic ecosystems.

Note to Editors:

Still imagery and B-Roll footage will be made available throughout the operation from Combat Camera. To download still images, go to Video can be downloaded at:

Contact Information

    Summer Halliday
    Public Affairs Advisor
    867-873-0700, ext 6922
    867-766-6803 (FAX)
    Cell: 867-765-8624
    Lieutenant (Navy) Jordan Holder
    Public Affairs Officer
    613-945-3145, ext. 4441