Monday, July 25, 2005

Bill Graham on Hans Island

Minister of National Defense Bill Graham defended Canadian sovereignty on Hans Island recently:

A helicopter set him down on the round, windswept rock about the size of a football field, located between Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

"I'm here to reassert Canadian sovereignty over this island and reconfirm the Canadian government's committment to defending our territorial integrity," Graham said.

"In the past, there has been some question as to the validity of Canada's claim to this island ...

"I'm here to dig up a bottle of brandy, and bury a Loonie at the bottom of this Canadian flag."

Then, I woke up.

Here's what really happened (Canadian Press, via Yahoo! News, Hands off Hans island, defence minister signals to Denmark):
A helicopter set him down on the round, windswept rock about the size of a football field, located between Greenland and Ellesmere Island.

"I wasn't there to make some big dramatic statement," Graham told The Canadian Press.

"My act of going there was totally consistent with the fact that Canada has always regarded this island as a part of Canada. . .

"I was just visiting Hans Island the way I visited other facilities of Canada's."


In the meantime, Denmark has lodged a formal protest note to Canada asserting they control Hans Island.

Bill Graham responded, "A letter? I get letters all the time. It's consistent with the fact that I have a Canadian postal address that I will receive letters."

Seriously, we need to be stronger and we need to be more direct on this issue. I want drama.


Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the Canadian Government get tougher on a number of issues in foreign affairs - including trade issues with the US.

By the way, Welcome aboard to the Progressive Bloggers group.

Anonymous said...

As a leftist, I can definately support more military spending if it goes to defending our part of the arctic.

However, the greater fear at the moment is that we'll get swept up in another American imperial adventure.

Anonymous said...

My God. I'm no right-wing militarist by any stretch of the imagination, but for God-sake, if Denmark wants to claim one of our islands, our PM should be on the phone telling the PM of Denmark to get the F*** off our island! CF-18's should be flying over Copenhagen! It's called sovreignty! Let's assert it!

Mark Richard Francis said...

What the heck is Denmark up to anyway? Does this extend their shore somewhere important?

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

This is likely why:

Denmark is cautious about signing away sovereignty over any territory after it was forced to look on as neighbouring Norway discovered massive oil reserves just within its borders shortly after those were drawn in the North Sea forty years ago.

There's the theory that by extending Greenland's claim of the "continental shelf", any potential oil reserves found there would be Denmark's. Canada knows that, too.

I'm not much of a geologist or an oilogist .. ahem .. so I don't know how valid those claims are.

I've seen it elsewhere, but I can only find it in the New Zealand Herald.

Anonymous said...

Umm, this is ridiculous? Canada has enough territory to the point where we endlessly allow immigrants to move in and overthrow our city's with crime. Sound racist? Move to Calgary and deal with the weekly broad daylight asian gang shooting. Where's my Canada gone to?

Thank for keeping your head duly lodged in your a** gov't, although if I may point out perhaps we should start throwing around our weight back at home, like, ohh I dunno - Softwood lumber, mad cow, Devils Lake.

Picking on the smallest kid in the playground doesn't make you tough, it makes you look ridiculous, even if we too are small. We should be standing up to the bully down south first -OR-

We can send our 4 airplanes and 13 soliders over there, and god the boys will try, but we'll look even more foolish.

Where the hell is the Canada I grew up in?