Minister Cannon Concludes Arctic Visit and Holds Media Availability

(No. 128 - April 7, 2010 - 8:40 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, yesterday concluded his two-day visit to Resolute Bay and the Borden Island ice camp.

“I am impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the men and women who are working under such challenging conditions to enhance our scientific understanding of the North,” said Minister Cannon. “They are playing an essential role in asserting Canada’s interests in the Arctic. This visit was a fascinating experience and a chance to witness work that will contribute to Canada’s future.”

Canada is currently working to delineate the outer limits of its continental shelf and will make its submission to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf in December 2013.

For the first time in Canadian history, autonomous underwater vehicles are being used to collect data in the Arctic. The vehicles are launched into the water through a hole made by removing 30 tonnes of ice.

“The work I saw being carried out at the ice camp is essential to Canada’s continental shelf submission,” said Minister Cannon. “This submission is a priority for our government as we protect and defend Canada’s interests in the North.”

Operations at the Borden Island ice camp will continue through the spring of 2010, as Canada works to meet the criteria set out in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada has overall responsibility for preparing and presenting Canada’s submission to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf. Natural Resources Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are responsible for the scientific work that will support the submission.

Minister Cannon will hold a media availability at Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Ottawa headquarters to discuss his visit.

Event: Media availability
Date: Thursday, April 8, 2010
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Location: Cadieux Auditorium, Lester B. Pearson Building, 125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario

Following a short statement, Minister Cannon will be available to take questions from media representatives.

Media representatives wishing to participate are requested to RSVP by calling the Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office at 613-995-1874 before noon on Thursday, April 8, 2010.

Camera setup should take place by 12:45 p.m.

Media interested in attending must register at the Lester B. Pearson Building reception desk. Photo identification will be required.

Canadian media representatives wishing to participate by telephone are asked to use one of the following call-in numbers: 1-877-413-4814 (North America) or 613-960-7526 (local or international calls). The access code is 4106005.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Ève Cardinal
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874