Are we heading for another politically driven maritime fiasco?

As a Canadian citizen living in the US, I am appalled that the government of Canada would promote a concept for 'defense' of the Arctic that has no visible purpose! Delivery of as-yet not designed, prototype naval vessels with pop-gun armaments for gun-boat diplomacy, at some indeterminate time in the future, for a situation that cannot be presently forecast with any degree of certainty is folly, indeed.

Why not just do our job, quietly and efficiently ... and commercially?

Carry out the hydrographic mapping of the arctic waters. Establish buoys, lights, charts, communications, search and rescue facilities and equipment, and such other navigational and surveillance aids as will be of comfort and assistance to friends; and for the detection of foes. Establish our continental shelf and post our territorial imperatives into our charts etc. Explore and prospect for resources in the Canadian Arctic. Create innovative, maritime ways to recover the resources.

Buy more ice-breakers from established builders. Let Canadian 'yards bid for sub-contracts (and naval war-ships). Contract with the builders/sub-contractors for on-going service responsibility. Build shore-side depots to spread the Canadian colonization and presence in the Arctic. Start with 'depot ships' as headquarters for new construction.

Establish a fee schedule to re-capture all of the costs for all of the above Arctic affairs and advise potential users of the potential costs for using the Canadian Arctic waters, or their resources.

Seek military advice on how best to deal with those who transgress our commercial and national imperatives in the Canadian Arctic under, on, or over sea or land.

NAFTA provides that if we don't develop our resources, then our partners can do it for us.

Head them off at the pass. Disarm them by linking arms with them. The US should pay the bills for our Arctic development costs, if effectively negotiated. They will uphold their interests in the Canadian Arctic, militarily, diplomatically and commercially if we fail to negotiate effectively.

Better to have the US as a partner, than as our master!