Canadian navy delays opening of crucial Arctic facility to 2018

Canada’s military has again delayed the opening of a major new Arctic port, a sign the government is struggling to assert sovereignty over a remote resource-rich region, Reuters reports.

The planned deep water naval facility at Nanisivik – some 3,100 km (1,900 miles) north of Ottawa – is one of the key components of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s “use it or lose it” approach to the Arctic. The port, initially due to open in 2012, will now not be operational until 2018.

Nanisivik lies at the entrance to the Northwest Passage, which could become a shortcut for shipping between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans as global warming gradually opens up ice-clogged waterways.

Ottawa said in 2007 the port would be open in 2012. In August 2013, it delayed the opening to 2017 and scaled back the facility to avoid cost overruns, Reuters writes.

 

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