Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 17, 2012 17:00 ET

Minister MacKay Delivers Keynote Address for the Arctic Security Conference

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 17, 2012) - The Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, delivered today a keynote address for the Munk School of Global Affairs and Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation conference, The Arctic Council: Its Place in the Future of Arctic Governance.

Minister MacKay spoke about the Government of Canada's vision for the North. In his address, he highlighted the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces' (DND/CF) contributions in supporting other government departments in the North, exercising Canada's sovereignty and providing assistance to Canadians.

"The Government of Canada has made it clear that Canada's North is a cornerstone of its agenda and I am proud of the key contribution DND/CF makes in supporting this priority," said Minister MacKay. "National Defence works closely with Northerners, who have a vital and active role in all government activity in this region."

The Government of Canada is enhancing the Canadian Forces' capabilities in the North through several new investments under the Canada First Defence Strategy including: six to eight Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships; a new CF Arctic Training Centre in Resolute Bay, expansion of the Canadian Rangers to approximately 5,000 members, and modernization of their equipment.

These important investments in the North will help ensure that DND/CF has the capabilities necessary to provide support for future safety and security challenges in the Arctic, which could range from search and rescue incidents, to natural disasters, to criminal activity.

While addressing an audience of prominent academics and diplomats from key Arctic partners, Minister MacKay concluded that through these investments in the North, DND/CF are helping to create a vibrant Northern economy, with safe, healthy and prosperous communities.

The purpose of the Arctic Security Conference is to focus on how the Arctic Council can adapt to meet the future challenges of a region viewed by the international community as the new frontier for resource development, navigation and territorial sovereignty.

Note to the editors: for additional information on DND/CF contributions to the Arctic, please consult the following backgrounder:

Contact Information