Thank you, Mr. Chair. It's a pleasure to be at INAN again.
Happy National Indigenous Peoples Day to everybody out there. I'll get right into it.
Mr. Coates, I can completely relate to what you and other experts on the Arctic, Mr. Huebert and Wallace, have been talking about. I really appreciate you guys for digging into this.
I was in Inuvik last week, at our most active NORAD location in the Arctic, and I was alarmed by what I saw. There have been many concerns regarding Canadian sovereignty and security from our territorial and provincial premiers, and I heard the same first-hand from many of our northern indigenous residents.
An article in SaskToday, from April, reads:
[Premier] Silver, as Chair of the Northern Premiers, called an impromptu meeting of those...leaders. Following that, Silver, N.W.T Premier Caroline Cochrane and Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok wrote a joint letter to British Columbia Premier John Horgan and the other premiers requesting space on the agenda of the Council of the Federation’s...summer meeting.
This is all about Arctic sovereignty and security.
Premier Silver said:
It’s time that Canada does the same. Russian actions are threatening global security, and the international rules-based order.
Instead of strengthening sovereignty and security in our Arctic, I saw this government putting up a “for sale” sign on a crucial NORAD facility known as “the green hangar” in Inuvik, and getting rid of other essential equipment. For decades, the International Logistical Support hangar has been the only facility above the Arctic Circle able to house the refuelling tankers that support Canada's CF-18s. This critical NORAD facility was said by this government in 2021 to be no longer necessary. The hangar is now up for sale, and other countries, namely China, are showing interest.
Without this hangar, the refuelling tankers are being pushed outside and now take three or more hours to prep in winter conditions. Any quick response is now virtually impossible in the Arctic.
Mr. Coates, are you aware of this vulnerability? What should be done about it?