Defence Minister wraps-up trip to Canada’s Arctic 

News release

August 16, 2018 – Ottawa (Ontario) – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan has wrapped up a three day visit to Canadian Armed Forces installations in the North where he saw first-hand how the Defence Team is enhancing its ability to operate in the Arctic and keep Canada strong at home, which is a key commitment of the Department of National Defence’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged.

On Monday, during the first stop in Yellowknife, NT, the Minister highlighted how the Government is equipping its CAF presence in the North. His announcement included presenting the 1 Canadian Rangers Patrol Group with their new C-19 Ranger rifle. The event also highlighted the modernization and life extension of the CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft, a highly adaptable and indispensable aircraft that allows the CAF to operate in the unforgiving environment of Canada’s north.

While at Canadian Forces Station Alert, NU, which plays a key role in projecting Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, the Minister met the CAF, DND and Environment and Climate Change Canada personnel currently living and working at the northernmost permanently inhabited location in the world. The visit included a tour of the CAF facilities in Alert to announce a number of infrastructure improvements, as well as a demonstration of defence research underway to improve the CAF’s capacity in the Arctic.

The trip concluded with a stop at the future Nanisivik Naval Facility which is completing construction at its location near Arctic Bay, NU. The CAF will begin operating this port facility in the next year as one of a number of new Arctic-focused capabilities to improve the Navy’s ability to sustain operations in Canada’s North. 

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“As an Arctic nation, Canada’s presence and ability to operate in the North is key to meeting current and future security and defence needs. Through our defence policy we are ensuring Canadian Armed Forces members have the facilities they need to effectively work and train as they serve alongside our most remote communities well into the future.”

Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

Quick facts

  • In September 2016, Canada announced a $32.8 million contract with Colt Canada to procure 6,820 new rifles for the Canadian Rangers.

  • The primary role of 440 Transport Squadron in Yellowknife, which operates the Twin Otter, is airlift, utility and liaison flights in support of Joint Task Force North, the Canadian Rangers, and other Canadian Armed Forces activities in the North, including sovereignty patrols. The Squadron also conducts search and rescue missions as a secondary duty like all RCAF flying squadrons.

  • The more than $10 million in infrastructure investments announced for CFS Alert include upgrades to fire alarm and suppression system ($5 million); replacement of fuel storage tanks ($2.5 million); and a power plant generator ($2.8 million). 

  • Work is ongoing to complete the Nanisivik Naval Facility which will support operations of the new Harry DeWolf-class patrol vessels and other government maritime vessels as a berthing and refuelling facility. The facility is expected to be operational in summer 2019. 

  • The Defence team’s extensive Northern footprint includes more than 800 buildings at over 60 sites. 

  • Joint Task Force North, headquartered in Yellowknife with detachments in Whitehorse and Iqaluit, anchors the Canadian Armed Forces’ Northern presence. 

Associated links


Renée Filiatrault
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-3100
Media Relations

Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-996-2353

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