Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a series of scientific and infrastructure projects to help bolster Canada’s Arctic sovereignty.
At a scientific research and education facility in Churchill, Manitoba, Prime Minister Harper unveiled the final 26 projects selected by the Government of Canada as part of its $150m commitment to International Polar Year (IPY). Launched in March 2007, IPY is bringing together thousands of scientists and researchers from more than 60 nations to conduct scientific research focused on the Arctic and Antarctic regions. In total, 43 Canadian-projects are already underway. Topics to be studied include: how polar bears, seals, and whales are adapting to climate change
; the level and origin of toxic chemicals in the Arctic air; and changes to the Canadian cryosphere – the snow, frozen ground, glaciers, ice caps, and lake, river, and sea ice that feature prominently in the Canadian North.
The Prime Minister also announced that the federal government and the province of Manitoba will commit to cost sharing $40m for the upgrade to the rail line between The Pas and Churchill. Additionally, Prime Minister Harper also announced that the federal government and the province have agreed to cost share up to $8m for improvements at the Port of Churchill.