Defence Minister Anand hosts virtual Arctic Security and Defence Dialogue
May 16, 2022 – Ottawa, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand hosted a virtual Security and Defence Dialogue with her counterparts from Arctic allied and partner states, including the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.
Canada, its allies, and partners are facing some of the most serious security challenges in decades. With climate change, technological advancements and changing economic interests increasing the strategic importance of the Arctic, collaboration between democratic Arctic states is crucial to address areas of mutual concern. Today’s meeting provided Ministers with an opportunity to discuss new and emerging threats, including the evolving security dynamics in the Arctic and in the cyber domain, the importance of having the capabilities needed to detect, deter, and defend against these threats, as well as Russia’s unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
While the Arctic has long been characterized by stability and cooperation, access to natural resources, impacts on northern Indigenous populations, concerns around national sovereignty and international security, and environmental considerations are intersecting in ways not previously seen. This meeting provided an opportunity for participants to engage on these issues and their implications on defence and security. At the meeting, participants also emphasized the need to continue strengthening collaboration between like-minded Arctic states and partners to address ongoing challenges into the future, including the security impacts of climate change.
During the meeting, Minister Anand highlighted Canada’s commitment to strengthening our capabilities and presence in the Arctic, and our engagement with Northern and Indigenous partners as part of an inclusive and necessary approach to the region’s defence and security. The Minister also discussed existing efforts to bolster our Arctic defences through joint exercises, six new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, enhanced surveillance and intelligence capabilities, and investments in a well-equipped military that can defend our country and contribute to continental defence and global security.
Canada will continue to work closely with allies and partners to foster information-sharing, improve situational awareness, and enhance operational cooperation on a broad range of Arctic and regional issues.
“Russia’s unjustifiable and unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine emphasizes the importance of the rules-based international order. Challenges like the security implications of climate change, show that the Arctic is not immune to the evolving strategic landscape. Through leadership and meaningful collaboration with our allies and partners, including Indigenous communities, we will ensure the safety, security, and prosperity of the Arctic, and the wellbeing of those who live there.
The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence
The Arctic is a priority for Canada, encompassing over 40% of total land mass and 75% of national coastlines. As part of our commitment to a safe, secure, and well-defended Arctic and North, Canada’s Arctic and Northern Policy Framework provides a strategic vision to guide government policy-making activities and investments over the next decade and beyond.
Canada’s current defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged , was informed by the international landscape in 2017. Work is now underway to deliver on the Government of Canada's Budget 2022 commitment to update the defence policy.
Budget 2022 includes more than $8 billion in new funding over five years to better equip the Canadian Armed Forces and to strengthen Canada’s contributions to our core alliances like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
The Canadian Armed Forces is increasing its participation in multinational exercises and continues to encourage key Arctic and non-Arctic allies and partners to participate in joint activities in the Canadian Arctic such as Operation NANOOK.
Operation NANOOK strengthens the Canadian Armed Forces’ knowledge of the Arctic, allows them to work closely with Arctic nations and key allies, fortifies close partnerships with federal, territorial, and local communities, and hones their ability to operate in a challenging environment.
Office of the Minister of National Defence
Department of National Defence
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