Harper again raises spectre of Russian threat in speech to troops


BAFFIN ISLAND, Nunavut — An emboldened Russia is a threat to it neighbours in the Arctic and Canada must be ready to respond to any Russian incursions in the region, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Tuesday as he ended his yearly tour of Canada’s North.

In a chest-thumping address to troops who took part in a series of military manoeuvres off the coast of Baffin Island, Harper spoke of how Canada must never drop its guard in the face of growing Russian aggression.

“In Europe, we see the imperial ambitions of Vladimir Putin, who seems determined that, for Russia’s neighbours, there shall be no peace…,” Harper said.

“And because Russia is also Canada’s neighbour, we must not be complacent here at home.”

It was the second mention of the Russian president in six days for Harper. The prime minister has made Arctic sovereignty a focal point of this year’s northern tour, with announcements ranging from farming initiatives to remarks on the search for the lost Franklin ships meant to show Canada’s control over its northern regions.

The prime minister spoke to the troops out on the barren tundra of the southern tip of Baffin Island, steep ridges surrounding him. Earlier in the day, the Canadian Armed Forces conducted part of their annual northern operation, Operation Nanook, in the nearby waters of Davis Strait.

Part of this year’s exercise was meant to simulate the rescue of a cruise ship that has run aground in York Sound, near the southern tip of Baffin Island. Harper stood aboard the Strait Explorer as four soldiers rappelled from a helicopter hovering over the deck during part of Tuesday’s operation.

An earlier part of the operation, which began Aug. 20 and runs until Aug. 29, simulated a search-and-rescue operation for a fishing ship in the Davis Strait.

This year’s exercise involves personnel from all branches of the Canadian Armed Forces, a ship from the Danish navy and a U.S. surveillance aircraft.

The prime minister told military personnel they would always be needed to fend off threats to Canada in an increasingly dangerous and uncertain world.

“As we look at the world around us today, we see growing threats in a growing number of places and the growing strength of people who disdain democracy, despise modernity and kill people who don’t share their religion,” Harper said.

“People who, given even a sliver of a chance, would destroy everything that we, as Canadians, hold dear and have repeatedly fought to protect.”

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Harper again raises spectre of Russian threat in speech to troops

  1. Harp needs a medical intervention asap.

    • I’m not the one hiding under my bed frightened of Russkies

    • Harper is a sick man, victim of his own delusions of grandeur.

  2. The notion of Russian incursions into our arctic is ludicrous. Hopefully Harper doesn’t actually believe it. A small scale summer exercise focused on SAR and talks to small bunches of Rangers in red hoodies and carrying bolt action rifles would indicate he doesn’t. DND doesn’t believe it and have said so in reports on the lack of threats to the arctic.

    The talk of Russian imperialism in eastern Europe is delusional. NATO had promised Russia that it wouldn’t move east. It lied and Poland and Romania and others joined NATO. Then the west supported a coup against the legally elected pro-Russian president of Ukraine. Putin was faced with Ukraine joining the EU as a step to joining NATO. Soviet foreign policy was based on the need to have a large buffer between Russia and Germany. Two invasions by Germany that killed 28 million Russians & Soviets was a very sound reason to keep a future military alliance featuring Germany as far away as possible. Now NATO is talking about stationing “troops” (Germans?) in Poland. What would NATO expect Russia to do?

    I hope Harper understands why the Russians are acting as they do and like the nonsense about the arctic is just mouthing talking points that sound good to his base.

    • Mackay was spoken to by NORAD on his hysterical notions about Russians overflying us…..they were of course, by invitation to inspect US nuclear sites

  3. Russia needs more of our Arctic, like we need more of the their Siberia ?!

    Hey Stephanie, at last count, did you garner anymore potential Canadian-Ukrainian voters with your latest immature, embarassingly useless, saber-rattling psychobabble. ?

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