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Opinion

The Great Thaw: our melting Arctic must be monitored, and Canada should lead the way

By Kate Moran      

In a banner year for Canada, when science and state are more aligned than ever before, we owe our future generations the courtesy of protecting the natural wonder of our North by shining a light on its limitations before pursuing its opportunities. If we don’t act soon, we risk losing control over a defining piece of our 150-year identity that is melting away before our very eyes into the pages of history.

Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan stated that 'research done by Canadian and other scientists gives governments the evidence necessary for sound development for this vitally important region.' The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright

Imagine autumn in the Gatineau’s without trees, or the Rideau River without water. Now imagine the Arctic without ice. All unimaginable images, yet despite our proud ‘Great White North’ designation, the problem in grasping the magnitude of an ice-free Arctic is that it seems so far from our daily lives. In fact, most of Canada’s 35 million citizens know only of the Arctic through the pages of school textbooks, and it’s easy to see why. According to the 2016 census, 66 per cent of Canadians live within 100 kilometres of the U.S. border, as far from the Arctic as possible, in an area representing just four per cent of Canada’s total territory.

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