Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand hosted a virtual Security and Defence Dialogue with her counterparts from Arctic allied and partner states, including the Kingdom of Denmark (Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland), Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United States.
Canada, its allies, and partners are facing some of the most serious security challenges in decades. With climate change, technological advancements and changing economic interests increasing the strategic importance of the Arctic, collaboration between democratic Arctic states is crucial to address areas of mutual concern. Today’s meeting provided Ministers with an opportunity to discuss new and emerging threats, including the evolving security dynamics in the Arctic and in the cyber domain, the importance of having the capabilities needed to detect, deter, and defend against these threats, as well as Russia’s unjustifiable full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
While the Arctic has long been characterized by stability and cooperation, access to natural resources, impacts on northern Indigenous populations, concerns around national sovereignty and international security, and environmental considerations are intersecting in ways not previously seen. This meeting provided an opportunity for participants to engage on these issues and their implications on defence and security. At the meeting, participants also emphasized the need to continue strengthening collaboration between like-minded Arctic states and partners to address ongoing challenges into the future, including the security impacts of climate change.
During the meeting, Minister Anand highlighted Canada’s commitment to strengthening our capabilities and presence in the Arctic, and our engagement with Northern and Indigenous partners as part of an inclusive and necessary approach to the region’s defence and security. The Minister also discussed existing efforts to bolster our Arctic defences through joint exercises, six new Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships, enhanced surveillance and intelligence capabilities, and investments in a well-equipped military that can defend our country and contribute to continental defence and global security.
Canada will continue to work closely with allies and partners to foster information-sharing, improve situational awareness, and enhance operational cooperation on a broad range of Arctic and regional issues.