Canada has a message for Europe: Keep your mitts off our Arctic. The government has begun a multi-pronged strategy that combines tough diplomatic talk with a flurry of cultural events across the continent that stress the nation's long ties to the region, the Globe and Mail reports. Canada knows it will have to deal with Russia and the US on territory; it's most worried about European nations with no logical claim. “Europeans need to learn the Arctic is not terra incognita,” one former diplomat said.
“It is not like the Antarctic,” he said. To that end, Canada is stepping up both its physical and symbolic presence. A quasi-governmental entity called the Arctic Rangers is beefing up its “sovereignty patrols” into the north, and exhibitions of Inuit culture at embassies in Europe are designed to “promote Canada's Arctic foreign-policy priorities.” Canada’s fears are not unfounded: Even France now has a “polar ambassador.”